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Southern Branch 
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PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 
BY ORISON SWETT MARDEN 



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Innka bg (J^rtann ^m?tt Murhtn 

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CHARACTER OPPORTUNITY 

CHEERFULNESS IRON WILL 

GOOD MANNERS ECONOMY 

THE POWER OF PERSONALITY 



SIAIENOUMM-SaOUL, 
iios RHQSUBS, cam. 





^ 




Pl^tttg 



BY 



ORISON SWETT MARDEN 

Author of 

'Every Man a King," "Pushing to the Front," etc., and 

Editor of "Success Magazine" 



'* Your ideal is a prophecy of 
what you shall at last unveil." 



7^2,^-7 



NEW YORK 
THOMAS Y. CROWELL & CO. 

PUBLISHERS 



i J t t * 1 ' 



Copyright, 1909, 
BY ORISON SWETT MARDEN 



Published, January, 1909 



Second Edition 



c i t ' ' c ' ' < ' c ' ' ' 






TO 

MY WIFE 



/ 



PREFACE 




EVER before in the history 
of mankind has there been 
such an awakening to the 
great possibiHties of the 
power of right thinking as 
we are now witnessing in all 
civilized countries. 
Metaphysical schools are springing up under 
different names in all parts of the enlightened 
world. People are getting hold of little bits 
of one great divine truth, a new gospel of 
optimism and love, a philosophy of sweetness 
and light, which seems destined to furnish 
a universal principle upon which people of all 
nations, of varying philosophies and creeds, 
can unite for the betterment of the race. 

The basic principle of this great metaphysi- 
cal movement has opened up many possibilities 
of mind building, character building, body 
building, and success building which are des- 
tined to bring untold blessings to the world. 

We are all conscious that there is something 
in us which is never sick, never sins, and never 
dies, a power back of the flesh but not of it, 
which connects us with Divinity, makes us one 
with the Infinite Life. 

vii 



i«A 






VIU 



PREFACE 



We are beginning to discover something of 
the nature of this tremendous force back of 
the flesh, this power which heals, regenerates, 
rejuvenates, harmonizes, and upbuilds, and 
which will ultimately bring us into that state 
of blessedness which we instinctively feel is 
the birthright of every human being. 

To present in clear, simple language, shorn 
of all technicalities, the principles of the new 
philosophy which promises to lift life out of 
commonness and discord and make it worth 
while; to show how these principles may be 
grasped and applied in a practical way in 
every-day living to each person's own indi- 
vidual case is the object of this volume. 

There is a growing belief that " God never 
made His work for man to mend," We are 
just beginning to discover that the same Prin- 
ciple which created us, repairs, restores, re- 
news, heals us ; that the remedies for all our 
ills are inside of us, in Divine Principle, which 
is the truth of our being. We are learning that 
there is an immortal principle of health in 
every individual, which, if we could utilize, 
would heal all our wounds and furnish a balm 
for all the hurts of mankind. 

The author attempts to show that the body 
is but the mind externalized, the habitual men- 



PREFACE 



IX 



tal state outpictured ; that the bodily condi- 
tion follows the thought, and that we are 
sick or well, happy or miserable, young or old, 
lovable or unlovable, according to the degree 
in which we control our mental processes. 
He shows how man can renew his body by 
renewing his thought, or change his body, his 
character, by changing his thought. 

The book teaches that man need not be the 
victim of his environment, but can be the mas- 
ter of it; that there is no fate outside of him 
which determines his life, his aims; that each 
person can shape his own environment, create 
his own condition ; that the cure for poverty, 
ill-health, and unhappiness lies in bringing 
one's self through scientific thinking into con- 
scious union with the great Source of Infinite 
life, the Source of opulence, of health, and 
harmony. This conscious union with the Cre- 
ator, this getting in tune with the Infinite, is 
the secret of all peace, power, and prosperity. 

It emphasizes man's oneness with Infinite 
Life, and the truth that when he comes into 
the full realization of his inseparable con- 
nection with the creative energy of the uni- 
verse, he shall never know lack or want again. 

This volume shows how man can stand por- 
ter at the door of his mind, admitting only his 



X PREFACE 

friend thoughts, only those suggestions that 
will produce joy, prosperity; and excluding 
all his enemy thoughts which would bring dis- 
cord, suffering, or failure. 

It teaches that " your ideal is a prophecy of 
what you shall at last unveil," that " thought 
is another name for fate/' that we can think 
ourselves out of discord into harmony, out of 
disease into health, out of darkness into light, 
out of hatred into love, out of poverty and 
failure into prosperity and success. 

Before a man can lift himself, he must lift 
his thought. When we shall have learned to 
master our thought habits, to keep our minds 
open to the great divine inflow of life force, 
we shall have learned the secret of human 
blessedness. Then a new era will dawn for 
the race. 

O. S. M. 

January, 1909. 



PAGE 



CONTENTS 
CHAPTER I 

THE POWER OF THE MIND TO COMPEL THE 

BODY 3 

CHAPTER n 

POVERTY A MENTAL DISABILITY 1 7 



CHAPTER HI 

THE LAW OF OPULENCE 



37 



CHAPTER IV 

CHARACTER-BUILDING AND HEALTH-BUILDING 

DURING SLEEP 53 

CHAPTER V 

HEALTH THROUGH RIGHT THINKING 69 

CHAPTER VI 

MENTAL CHEMISTRY 87 

CHAPTER VII 

IMAGINATION AND HEALTH 105 

CHAPTER VIII 

HOW SUGGESTION INFLUENCES HEALTH II5 

CHAPTER IX 

WHY GROW OLD? I3I 



xii CONTENTS 

CHAPTER X I'AGE 

y=THE MIRACLE OF SELF-CONFIDENCE 1 63 

CHAPTER XI 

AFFIRMATION AND AUDIBLE SUGGESTION 1 85 l**^ 

CHAPTER Xn 

DESTRUCTIVE AND CONSTRUCTIVE SUGGESTION 207 

CHAPTER Xni 

WORRY THE DISEASE OF THE AGE 223 

CHAPTER XIV 

FEAR, THE CURSE OF THE RACE 239 

CHAPTER XV 

SELF-CONTROL VS. THE EXPLOSIVE PASSIONS 269 

CHAPTER XVI 

GOOD CHEER — GOD'S MEDICINE 287 

CHAPTER XVII 

THE SUN-DIAL'S MOTTO 303 

CHAPTER XVIII 

"as YE sow" 317 



I. THE POWER OF THE MIND TO 
COMPEL THE BODY 



IsOS PiHC*2liBS, GFxlX. 



I. THE POWER OF THE MIND TO 
COMPEL THE BODY 

Our destiny changes with our thought; we shall be- 
come what we wish to become, do what we wish to 
do, when our habitual thought corresponds with our 
desire. 

"The 'divinity that shapes our ends' is in ourselves; 
it is our very self." 

jONG before Henry Irving's 
death, his physician cau- 
tioned him against playing 
his famous part in " The 
Bells," on account of the 
tremendous strain upon his 
heart. Ellen Terry, his lead- 
ing woman for many years, says in her 
biography of him : 

Every time he heard the sound of bells, the throbbing 
of his heart must have nearly killed him. He used 
always to turn quite white — there was no trick about it. 
It was imagination acting physically on the body. 

His death as Matthias — the death of a strong, robust 
man — was different from all his other stage deaths. 
He did really almost die — he hnagined death with such 
horrible intensity. His eyes would disappear upward, 
his face grow gray, his limbs cold. 

No wonder, then, that the first time that the Wolver- 
hampton doctor's warning was disregarded, and Henr>' 




4 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

played "The Bells" at Bradford, his heart could not 
stand the strain. Within twenty-four hours of his last 
death as "Matthias" he was dead. 

As Becket on the following night — the 
night of his death — his physicians said that 
he was undoubtedly dying throughout the 
entire performance. So buoyed up and stim- 
ulated was he by his great zeal for his work 
and the bracing influence of his audience that 
he actually held death at bay. 

It is a common experience for actors who 
are ill to be cured for a time and to be entirely 
forgetful of their aches and pains under the 
stimulus of ambition and the brain-quicken- 
ing influence of their audiences. 

Edward H. Sothern says that he feels a 
great increase of brain activity when he is on 
the stage, and this is accompanied by a cor- 
responding physical exhilaration. " The very 
air I breathe," says Mr. Sothern, " seems more 
stimulating. Fatigue leaves me at the stage 
door; and I have often given performances 
without any suffering when I should other- 
wise have been under a doctor's care." Noted 
orators, great preachers, and famous singers 
have had similar experiences. 

That " imperious must " which compels the 



POWER OF THE MIND 5 

actor to do his level best, whether he feels 
like it or not, is a force which no ordinary 
pain or physical disability can silence or over- 
come. Somehow, even when we feel that it 
is impossible for us to make the necessary 
effort, when the crisis comes, when the emer- 
gency is upon us, when we feel the prodding 
of this imperative, imperious necessity, there 
is a latent power within us which comes to 
our rescue, which answers the call, and we 
do the impossible. 

It is an unusual thing for singers or actors 
and actresses to be obliged to give up their 
parts even for a night, but when they are off 
duty, or on their vacations, they are much 
more likely to be ill or indisposed. There is 
a common saying among actors and singers 
that they cannot afford to be sick. 

" We don't get sick," said an actor, " be- 
cause we can't afford that luxury. It is a 
case of ' must ' with us ; and although there 
have been times when, had I been at home, 
or a private man, I could have taken to my 
bed with as good a right to be sick as any 
one ever had, I have not done so, and have 
worn off the attack through sheer necessity. 
It is no fiction that will-power is the best of 
tonics, and theatrical people understand that 



6 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

they must keep a good stock of it always on 
hand." 

I know of an actor who suffered such tor- 
tures with inflammatory rheumatism that even 
with the aid of a cane he could not walk 
two blocks, from his hotel to the theatre ; yet 
when his cue was called, he not only walked 
upon the stage with the utmost ease and 
grace, but was also entirely oblivious of the 
pain which a few moments before had made 
him wretched. A stronger motive drove out 
the lesser, made him utterly unconscious of 
his trouble, and the pain for the time was 
gone. It was not merely covered up by some 
other thought, passion, or emotion, but it was 
temporarily annihilated ; and as soon as the 
play was over, and his part finished, he was 
crippled again. 

General Grant was suffering greatly from 
rheumatism at Appomattox, but when a flag 
of truce informed him that Lee was ready to 
surrender, his great joy not only made him 
forget his rheumatism but also drove it com- 
pletely away — at least for some time. 

The shock occasioned by the great San 
Francisco earthquake cured a paralytic who 
had been crippled for fifteen years. There 
were a great many other wonderful cures 



POWER OF THE MIND 7 

reported which were almost instantaneous. 
Men and women who had been practically in- 
valids for a long time, and who were scarcely 
able to wait upon themselves, when the crisis 
came and they were confronted by this ter- 
rible situation, worked like Trojans, carrying 
their children and household goods long dis- 
tances to places of safety. 

We do not know what we can bear until 
we are put to the test. Many a delicate 
mother, who thought that she could not sur- 
vive the death of her children, has lived to 
bury her husband and the last one of a large 
family, and in addition to all this has seen 
her home and last dollar swept away ; yet she 
has had the courage to bear it all and to go 
on as before. When the need comes, there 
is a power deep within us that answers the 
call. 

Timid girls who have always shuddered at 
the mere thought of death have in some fatal 
accident entered into the shadow of the valley 
without a tremor or murmur. We can face 
any kind of inevitable danger with wonderful 
fortitude. Frail, delicate women will go on 
an operating-table with marvellous courage, 
even when they know that the operation is 
likely to be fatal. But the same women might 



8 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

go all to pieces over the terror of some im- 
pending danger, because of the very uncer- 
tainty of what might be in store for them. 
Uncertainty gives fear a chance to get in its 
deadly work on the imagination and make 
cowards of us. 

A person who shrinks from the prick of 
a pin, and who, under ordinary circumstances, 
can not endure without an anesthetic the ex- 
traction of a tooth or the cutting of flesh, 
even in a trivial operation, can, when mangled 
in an accident, far from civilization, stand the 
amputation of a limb without as much fear 
and terror as he might suffer at home from 
the lancing of a felon. 

I have seen a dozen strong men go to their 
deaths in a fire without showing the slightest 
sign of fear. There is something within every 
one of us that braces us up in a catastrophe 
and makes us equal to any emergency. This 
something is the God in us. These brave fire- 
men did not shrink even when they saw every 
means of escape cut off. The last rope 
thrown to them had consumed away; the 
last ladder had crumbled to ashes, and they 
were still in a burning tower one hun- 
dred feet above a blazing roof. Yet they 
showed no sign of fear or cowardice when 



POWER OF THE MIND 9 

the tower sank into the seething caldron of 
flame. 

When in Deadwood, in the Black Hills of 
South Dakota, I was told that in the early- 
days there, before telephone, railroad, or tele- 
graph communication had been established, 
the people were obliged to send a hundred 
miles for a physician. For this reason the 
services of a doctor were beyond the reach 
of persons of moderate means. The result 
was that people learned to depend upon them- 
selves to such an extent that it was only on 
extremely rare occasions, usually in a case of 
severe accident or some great emergency, that 
a physician was sent for. Some of the largest 
families of children in the place had been 
reared without a physician ever coming into 
the house. When I asked some of these 
people if they were ever sick they replied, 
" No, we are never sick, simply because we are 
obliged to keep well. We cannot afford to have 
a physician, and even if we could it would 
take so long to get him here that the sick one 
might be dead before he arrived." 

One of the most unfortunate things that 
has come to us through what we call " higher 
civilization " is the killing of faith in our 
power of disease resistance. In our large 



10 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

cities people make great preparations for sick- 
ness. They expect it, anticipate it, and con- 
sequently have it. It is only a block or two 
to a physician ; a drug-store is on every other 
corner, and the temptation to send for the 
physician or to get drugs at the slightest 
symptom of illness tends to make them more 
and more dependent on outside helps and less 
able to control their physical discords. 

During the frontier days there were little 
villages and hamlets which physicians rarely 
entered, and here the people were strong 
and healthy and independent. They developed 
great powers of disease resistance. 

There is no doubt that the doctor habit in 
many families has a great deal to do with the 
developing of unfortunate physical conditions 
in the child. Many mothers are always call- 
ing the doctor whenever there is the least sign 
of disturbance in the children. The result is 
that the child grows up with this disease pic- 
ture, doctor picture, medicine picture, in its 
mind, and it influences its whole life. 

The time will come when a child and any 
kind of medicine will be considered a very 
incongruous combination. Were children prop- 
erly reared in the love thought, in the truth 
thought, in the harmony thought, were they 



POWER OF THE MIND ii 

trained to right thinking, a doctor or medicine 
would be rarely needed. 

Within the last ten years tens of thousands 
of families have never tasted medicine or re- 
quired the services of a physician. It is be- 
coming more and more certain that the time 
will come when the belief in the necessity of 
employing some one to patch us up, to mend 
the Almighty's work, will be a thing of the 
past. The Creator never put man's health, hap- 
piness, and welfare at the mercy of the mere 
accident of happening to live near physicians. 

He never left the grandest of His creations 
to the mercy of any chance, cruel fate, or 
destiny ; never intended that the life, health, 
and well-being of one of His children should 
hang upon the contingency of being near a 
remedy for his ills; never placed him where 
his own life, health, and happiness would 
depend upon the chance of happening to be 
where a certain plant might grow, or a certain 
mineral exist which could cure him. 

Is it not more rational to believe that He 
would put the remedies for man's ills within 
himself — in his own mind, where they are al- 
ways available — than that He would store 
them in herbs and minerals in remote parts 
of the earth where practically but a small por- 



12 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

tion of the human race would ever discover 
them, countless millions dying in total igno- 
rance of their existence? 

There is a latent power, a force of in- 
destructible life, an immortal principle of 
health, in every individual, which if developed 
would heal all our wounds and furnish a balm 
for the hurts of the world. 

How rare a thing it is for people to be ill 
upon any great occasion in which they are 
to be active participants ! How unusual for a 
woman, even though in very delicate health, 
to be sick upon a particular day on which she 
has been invited to a royal reception or to 
visit the White House at Washington ! 

Chronic invalids have been practically 
cured by having great responsibilities thrust 
upon them. By the death of some relative 
or the loss of property, or through some emer- 
gency, they have been forced out of their 
seclusion into the public gaze ; forced away 
from the very opportunity of thinking of 
themselves, dwelling upon their troubles, their 
symptoms, and lo! the symptoms have dis- 
appeared. 

Thousands of women are living to-day in 
comparative health who would have been 
dead years ago had they not been forced by 



POWER OF THE MIND 13 

necessity out of their diseased thoughts and 
compelled to think of others, to work for 
them, to provide and plan for those depen- 
dent upon them. 

Alultitudes of men and women would be 
sick in bed if they could afford it ; but the 
hungry mouths to feed, the children to clothe, 
these and all the other obligations of life so 
press upon them that they cannot stop work- 
ing; they must keep going whether they feel 
like it or not. 

W^hat does the world not owe to that im- 
perious " must " — that strenuous effort which 
we make when driven to desperation, when all 
outside help has been cut off and we are 
forced to call upon all that is within us to 
extricate ourselves from an unfortunate situ- 
ation ? 

Many of the greatest things in the world 
have been accomplished under the stress of 
this impelling " must " — merciless in its lash- 
ings and proddings to accomplishment. 

Necessity has been a priceless spur which 
has helped men to perform miracles against 
incredible odds. Every person who amounts 
to anything feels within himself a power 
which is ever pushing him on and urging him 
to perpetual improvement. Whether he feels 



14 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

like it or not, this inward monitor holds him 
to his task. 

It is this little insistent " must " that dogs 
our steps ; that drives and bestirs us ; that 
makes us willing to suffer privations and en- 
dure hardships, inconveniences, and discom- 
forts ; to work slavishly, in fact, when inclina- 
tion tempts us to take life easy. 



II. POVERTY A MENTAL 
DISABILITY 



II. POVERTY A MENTAL 
DISABILITY 

The worst thing about poverty is the poverty thought. 
It is the conviction that we are poor and must remain so 
that is fatal to the gaining of a competence. 

Holding the poverty thought keeps us in poverty- 
stricken and poverty-producing conditions. 

OVERTY is an abnormal 
condition. It does not fit 
any human being's constitu- 
tion. It contradicts the 
promise and the prophecy 
of the divine in man. The 
Creator never intended that 
man should be a pauper, a drudge, or a slave. 
There is not a single indication in man's 
wonderful mechanism that he was created for 
a life of poverty. There is something larger 
and grander for him in the divine plan than 
perpetual slavery to the bread-winning prob- 
lem. 

No man can do his best work — bring out 
the best thing in him — while he feels want 
tugging at his heels; while he is hampered, 
restricted, forever at the mercy of pinching 
circumstances. 

The very poor, those struggling to keep 




i8 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

the wolf at bay, cannot be independent. They 
cannot order their Hves. Often they cannot 
afford to express their opinions, or to have 
individual views. They cannot always afford 
to live in decent locations or in healthful 
houses. 

Praise it who will, poverty in its extreme 
form is narrowing, belittling, contracting, 
ambition-killing — an unmitigated curse. There 
is little hope in it, little prospect in it, little 
joy in it. It often develops the worst in man 
and kills love between those who would other- 
wise live happily together. 

It is difficult for the average human being 
to be a real man or real woman in extreme 
poverty. When worried, embarrassed, en- 
tangled with debts, forced to make a dime 
perform the proper work of a dollar, it is 
almost impossible to preserve that dignity and 
self-respect which enable a man to hold up 
his head and look the world squarely in the 
face. Some rare and beautiful souls have 
done this, and in dire poverty have given us 
examples of noble living that the world will 
never forget; but on the other hand, how 
many has its lash driven to the lowest depths ! 

Everywhere we see the marks of pinch- 
ing, grinding, blighting poverty. The hideous 



POVERTY 19 

evidences of want stare us in the face every 
day. We see it in prematurely old, depressed 
faces, and in children who have had no child- 
hood and who have borne the mark of the 
poverty curse ever since their birth. We see 
it shadowing bright young faces, and often 
blighting the highest ambition, and dwarfing 
the most brilliant ability. 

Poverty is more often a curse than a bless- 
ing, and those who praise its virtues would 
be the last to accept its hard conditions. 

I wish I could fill every youth with an utter 
dread and horror of it; make him feel its 
shame, when preventable, its constraint, its 
bitterness, its strangling effect. 

There is no disgrace in unpreventable pov- 
erty. We respect and honor people who are 
poor because of ill-health or misfortune which 
they cannot prevent. The disgrace is in not 
doing our level best to better our condition. 

What we denounce is preventable poverty, 
that which is due to vicious living, to sloven- 
ly, slipshod, systemless work, to idling and 
dawdling, or to laziness; that poverty which 
is due to the lack of effort, to wrong thinking, 
or to any preventable cause. 

Every man should be ashamed of poverty 
which he can prevent, not only because it is 



20 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

a reflection upon his ability, and will make 
others think less of him, but also because it 
will make him think less of himself. 

The trouble with many of poverty's victims 
to-day is that they have no confidence that 
they can get away from poverty. They hear 
so much about the poor man's lack of op- 
portunities ; that the great money combina- 
tions will compel nearly everybody in the 
future to work for somebody else ; they hear 
so much talk of the grasping and the greed 
of the rich, that they gradually lose confidence 
in their ability to cope with conditions and 
become disheartened. 

I do not overlook the heartless, grinding, 
grasping practices of many of the rich, or the 
unfair and cruel conditions brought about by 
unscrupulous political and financial schemers ; 
but I wish to show the poor man that, not- 
withstanding all these things, multitudes of 
poor people do rise above their iron environ- 
ment, and that there is hope for him. The 
mere fact that so many continue to rise, year 
after year, out of just such conditions as you 
may think are fatal to your advancement, 
ought to convince you that you also can con- 
quer your environment. 

When a man loses confidence, every other 



POVERTY 21 

success quality gradually leaves him, and life 
becomes a grind. He loses ambition and 
energy, is not so careful about his personal 
appearance, is not so painstaking, does not 
use the same system and order in his work, 
grows slack and slovenly and slipshod in 
every way, and becomes less and less capable 
of conquering poverty. 

Because they cannot keep up appearances 
and live in the same style as their wealthy 
neighbors, poor people often become dis- 
couraged, and do not try to make the best 
of what they have. They do not " put their 
best foot forward " and endeavor with all 
their might to throw off the evidences of 
poverty. If there is anything that paralyzes 
power it is the effort to reconcile ourselves 
to an unfortunate environment, instead of 
regarding it as abnormal and trying to get 
away from it. 

Poverty itself is not so bad as the poverty 
thought. It is the conviction that zue are poor 
and must remain so that is fatal. It is the 
attitude of mind that is destructive, the facing 
toward poverty, and feeling so reconciled to 
it that one does not turn about face and 
struggle to get away from it with a determina- 
tion which knows no retreat. 



22 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

It is facing the wrong way, toward the 
black, depressing, hopeless outlook that kills 
effort and demoralizes ambition. So long as 
you carry around a poverty atmosphere and 
radiate the poverty thought, you will be 
limited. 

You will never be anything but a beggar 
while you think beggarly thoughts, but a 
poor man while you think poverty, a failure 
while you think failure thoughts. 

If you are afraid of poverty, if you dread 
it, if you have a horror of coming to want in 
old age, it is more likely to come to you, be- 
cause this constant fear saps your courage, 
shakes your self-confidence, and makes you 
less able to cope with hard conditions. 

The magnet must be true to itself, it must 
attract things like itself. The only instrument 
by which man has ever attracted anything in 
this world is his mind, and his mind is like 
his thought ; if it is saturated with the fear 
thought, the poverty thought, no matter how 
hard he works, he will attract poverty. 

You walk in the direction in which you 
face. If you persist in facing toward poverty, 
you cannot expect to reach abundance. When 
every step you take is on the road to failure, 
you cannot expect to reach the success goal. 



POVERTY 23 

If we can conquer inward poverty, we can 
soon conquer poverty of outward things, for, 
when we change the mental attitude, the 
physical changes to correspond. 

Holding the poverty thought keeps us in 
touch with poverty-stricken, poverty-pro- 
ducing conditions ; and the constant thinking 
of poverty, talking poverty, living poverty, 
makes us mentally poor. This is the worst 
kind of poverty. 

We cannot travel toward prosperity until 
the mental attitude faces prosperity. As long 
as we look toward despair, we shall never 
arrive at the harbor of delight. 

The man who persists in holding his mental 
attitude toward poverty, or who is always 
thinking of his hard luck and failure to get 
on, can by no possibility go in the opposite 
direction, where the goal of prosperity Hes. 

I know a young man who was graduated 
from Yale only a few years ago — a broad- 
shouldered, vigorous young fellow — who says 
that he hasn't the price of a hat, and that if 
his father did not send him five dollars a week 
he would go hungry. 

This young man is the victim of discourage- 
ment, of the poverty thought. He says that he 
does not believe there is any success for him. 



24 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

He has tried many things, and has failed in 
them all. He says he has no confidence in his 
ability, that his education has been a failure, 
and that he has never believed he could 
succeed. So he has drifted from, one thing to 
another, and is poor and a nobody, just be- 
cause of his mental attitude, because he does 
not face the right way. 

If you would attract good fortune you must 
get rid of doubt. As long as that stands be- 
tween you and your ambition, it will be a bar 
that will cut you off. You must have faith. 
No man can make a fortune while he is con- 
vinced that he can't. The " I can't " philosophy 
has wrecked more careers than almost any- 
thing else. Confidence is the magic key that 
unlocks the door of supply. 

I never knew a man to be successful who 
was always talking about business being bad. 
The habit of looking down, talking down, is 
fatal to advancement. 

The Creator has bidden every man to look 
up, not down, has made him to climb, not to 
grovel. There is no providence which keeps a 
man in poverty, or in painful or distressing 
circumstances. 

A young man of remarkable ability, who 
has an established position in the business 



POVERTY 25 

world, recently told me that for a long time 
he had been very poor, and remained so until 
he made up his mind that he was not intended 
to be poor, that poverty was really a mental 
disease of which he intended to rid himself. 
He formed a habit of daily affirming" abun- 
dance and plenty, of asserting his faith in 
himself and in his ability to become a man 
of means and importance in the world. He 
persistently drove the poverty thought out 
of his mind. He would have nothing to do 
with it. 

He would not allow himself to think of 
possible failure. He turned his face toward 
the success goal, turned his back forever on 
poverty and failure, and he tells me that the 
result of his positive attitude and persistent 
affirmation has been marvellous. 

He says that he used to pinch himself in 
every possible way in order to save in little 
ways. He would eat the cheapest kind of food, 
and as sparingly as possible. He would rarely 
go on a street-car, even if he had to walk for 
miles. Under the new impulse he completely 
changed his habits, resolved that he would go 
to good restaurants, that he would get a com- 
fortable room in a good location, and that he 
would try in every way to meet cultured 



26 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

people, and to form acquaintances with those 
above him who could help him. 

The more liberal he has been, the better he 
has been to himself in everything which could 
help him along, which would tend to a higher 
culture and a better education, the more things 
have come his way. He found that it was his 
pinched, stingy thoughts that shut off his 
supply. 

Although he is now living well, he says 
that the amount he spends is a mere bagatelle 
compared with the larger things that come to 
him from his enlarged thought, his changed 
attitude of mind. 

Stingy, narrow minds do not attract money. 
If they get money they usually get it by 
parsimonious saving, rather than- by obeying 
the law of opulence. It takes a broad, liberal 
mind to attract money. The narrow, stingy 
mind shuts out the flow of abundance. 

It is the hopeful, buoyant, cheerful attitude 
of mind that wins. Optimism is a success 
builder; pessimism an achievement killer. 

Optimism is the great producer. It is hope, 
life. It contains everything which enters into 
the mental attitude which produces and en- 
joys. 

Pessimism is the great destroyer. It is de- 



POVERTY 27 

spair, death. No matter if you have lost your 
property, your health, your reputation even, 
there is always hope for the man who keeps a 
firm faith in himself and looks up. 

As long as you radiate doubt and dis- 
couragement, you will be a failure. If you 
want to get away from poverty, you must 
keep your mind in a productive, creative con- 
dition. In order to do this you must think 
confident, cheerful, creative thoughts. The 
model must precede the statue. You must see 
a neiv world before you can live in if. 

If the people who are down in the world, 
who are side-tracked, who believe that their 
opportunity has gone by forever, that they 
can never get on their feet again, only knew 
the power of reversal of their thought, they 
could easily get a new start. 

I know a family whose members completely 
reversed their condition by reversing their 
mental attitude. They had been living in a 
discouraging atmosphere so long that they 
were convinced that success was for others, 
but not for them. They believed so thoroughly 
that they were fated to be poor that their 
home and entire environment were pictures of 
dilapidation and failure. Everything was in a 
run-down condition. There was almost no 



28 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

paint on the house, no carpets on the floors, 
and scarcely a picture on the wall — nothing 
to make the home comfortable and cheerful. 
All the members of the family looked like 
failures. The home was gloomy, cold, and 
cheerless. Everything about it was depressing. 

One day the mother read something that 
suggested that poverty was largely a mental 
disease, and she began at once to reverse her 
thinking habit, and gradually to replace all 
discouraging, despondency, failure thoughts 
with their opposites. She assumed a sunny, 
cheerful attitude, and looked and acted as if 
life were worth living. 

Soon the husband and children caught the 
contagion of her cheerfulness, and in a short 
time the whole family was facing the light. 
Optimism took the place of pessimism. The 
husband completely changed his habits. In- 
stead of going- to his work unshaven and 
unkempt, with slovenly dress and slipshod 
manner, be became neat and tidy. He braced 
up, brushed up, cleaned up, and looked up. 
The children followed his example. The house 
was repaired, renovated within and without, 
and the family forever turned their backs on 
the dark picture of poverty and failure. 

The result of all this was that it brought 



POVERTY 29 

what many people would call " good luck." 
The change in the mental attitude, the out- 
look toward success and happiness instead of 
failure, reacted upon the father's mind, gave 
him new hope and new courage, and so in- 
creased his efficiency that he was soon pro- 
moted, as were also his sons. After two or 
three years of the creative, inspiring atmos- 
phere of hope and courage, the entire family 
and the home were transformed. 

Every man must play the part of his ambi- 
tion. If you are trying to be a successful man 
you must play the part. If you are trying to 
dem.onstrate opulence, you must play it, not 
weakly, but vigorously, grandly. You must 
feel opulent, you must think opulence, you 
must appear opulent. Your bearing must be 
filled with confidence. You must give the im- 
pression of your own assurance, that you are 
large enough to play your part and to play 
it superbly. Suppose the greatest actor living 
were to have a play written for him in which 
the leading part was to represent a man in 
the process of making a fortune — a great, 
vigorous, progressive character, who con- 
quered by his very presence. Suppose this 
actor, in i)laying the part, were to dress like 
an unprospcrous man, walk on the stage in 



30 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

a stooping, slouchy, slipshod manner, as 
though he had no ambition, no energy or Hfe, 
as though he had no real faith that he could 
ever make money or be a success in business ; 
suppose he went around the stage with an 
apologetic, shrinking, skulking manner, as 
much as to say, " Now, I do not believe that 
I can ever do this thing that I have attempted ; 
it is too big for me. Other people have done 
it, but I never thought that I should ever be 
rich or prosperous. Somehow good things do 
not seem to be meant for me. I am just an 
ordinary man, I haven't had much experience 
and I haven't much confidence in myself, and 
it seems presumptuous for me to think I am 
ever going to be rich or have much influence 
in the world." What kind of an impression 
would he make upon the audience? Would he 
give confidence, would he radiate power or 
forcefulness, would he make people think that 
that kind of a weakling could create a fortune, 
could manipulate conditions which would pro- 
duce money? Would not everybody say that 
the man was a failure ? Would they not laugh 
at the idea of his conquering anything? 

Suppose a young man should start out with 
a determination to get rich, and should all the 
time parade his poverty, confess his inability 



POVERTY 31 

to make money, and tell everybody that he is 
" down on his luck " ; that he " always expects 
to be poor." Do you think he would become 
rich? Talking poverty, thinking poverty, liv- 
ing poverty, assuming the air of a pauper, 
dressing like a failure, and with a slipshod, 
slovenly family and home, how long will it 
take a man to arrive at the goal of success ? 

Our mental attitude toward the thing we 
are struggling for has everything to do with 
our gaining it. If a man wants to become 
prosperous, he must believe that he was made 
for success and happiness ; that there is a 
divinity in him which will, if he follows it, 
bring him into the light of prosperity. 

Erase all the shadows, all the doubts and 
fears, and the suggestions of poverty and 
failure from your mind. When you have be- 
come master of your thought, when you have 
once learned to dominate your mind, you will 
find that things will begin to come your way. 
Discouragement, fear, doubt, lack of self- 
confidence, are the germs which have killed 
the prosperity and happiness of tens of thou- 
sands of people. 

If it were possible for all the poor to turn 
their backs on their dark and discouraging 
environment and face the light and cheer, and 



32 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

if they should resolve that they are done with 
poverty and a slipshod existence, this very 
resolution would, in a short time, revolutionize 
civilization. 

Every child should be taught to expect 
prosperity, to believe that the good things of 
the world were intended for him. This con- 
viction would be a powerful factor in the 
adult life if the child were so trained. 

Wealth is created mentally first; it is 
thought out before it becomes a reality. 

When a youth decides to become a physi- 
cian, he puts himself in a medical atmosphere 
just as much as possible. He talks medicine, 
reads medicine, studies medicine, thinks medi- 
cine until he becomes saturated with it. He 
does not decide to become a physician and 
then put himself in a legal atmosphere, read 
law, talk law, think law. So, if you want 
success, abundance, you must think success, 
you must think abundance. 

Stoutly deny the power of adversity or 
poverty to keep you down. Constantly assert 
your superiority to your environment. Believe 
that you are to dominate your surroundings, 
that you are the master and not the slave of 
circumstances. 

Resolve with all the vigor you can muster 



POVERTY 33 

that, since there are plenty of good things in 
the world for everybody, you are going to 
have your share, without injuring anybody 
else or keeping others back. It was intended 
that you should have a competence, an abun- 
dance. It is your birthright. You are success 
organized, and constructed for happiness, and 
you should resolve to reach your divine 
destiny. 

When you make up your mind that you 
are done with poverty forever ; that you will 
have nothing more to do with it ; that you 
are going to erase every trace of it from your 
dress, your personal appearance, your manner, 
your talk, your actions, your home ; that you 
are going to show the world your real mettle ; 
that you are no longer going to pass for a 
failure ; that you have set your face persist- 
ently toward better things — a competence, an 
independence — and that nothing on earth can 
turn you from your resolution, you will be 
amazed to find what a reenforcing power will 
come to you, what an increase of confidence, 
reassurance, and self-respect. 

The very act of turning your back upon the 
black picture and resolving that you will have 
nothing more to do with failure, with poverty ; 
that you will make the best possible out of 



34 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

what you do have; that you will put up the 
best possible appearance ; that you will clean 
up, brush up, talk up, look up, instead of 
down — hold your head up and look the world 
in the face instead of cringing, whining, com- 
plaining — will create a new spirit within you 
which will lead you to the light. Hope will 
take the place of despair, and you will feel the 
thrill of a new power, of a new force coursing 
through your veins. 

Thousands of people in this country have 
thought themselves away from a life of 
poverty by getting a glimpse of that great 
principle, that we tend to realize in the life 
zvhat we persistently hold in the thought and 
vigorously struggle toward. 



III. THE LAW OF OPULENCE 



III. THE LAW OF OPULENCE 

'Tis the mind that makes the body rich. — Shakespeare. 

One of the most \icious ideas that ever found entrance 
into human brain is that there is not enough of every- 
thing for everybody, and that most people on the earth 
must be poor in order that a few may be rich. 




E talk abundance here." I 
was struck with this motto in 
a New York office recently. 
I said to myself : " These 
people are prosperous be- 
cause they expect prosperity ; 
they do not recognize poverty 
or admit lacking anything they need." 

The way to make the ideal the real, is to 
persistently hold the thought of their identity. 
The way to demonstrate abundance is to hold 
it constantly in the mind, to frequently say 
to yourself, " All that my Father hath is 
mine." " The Lord is my shepherd : I shall 
not want." If all this is true (and you know 
that it is), any want or lack in your life is 
abnormal. 

The great fundamental principle of the law 
of opulence is our inseparable connection with 
the creative energy of the universe. When we 

37 



38 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

come into full realization of this connection 
we shall never want again. It is our sense of 
separateness from the Power that created us 
that makes us feel helpless. 

But as long as we limit ourselves by think- 
ing that we are separate, insignificant, un- 
related atoms in the universe ; that the great 
supply, the creative energy is outside of us, 
and that only a little of it can in some mys- 
terious way be absorbed by a few people who 
are " fortunate," " lucky," we shall never 
come into that abundant supply which is our 
birthright. 

And where did the false idea of the absorp- 
tion of all the good things by the few, of the 
necessity of competition, originate? It had its 
origin in the pessimistic assumption that it is 
impossible for everybody to be wealthy or 
successful ; in the thought of limitation of all 
the things which men most desire ; and that, 
there not being enough for all, a few must 
fight desperately, selfishly for zuhat there is, 
and the shrewdest, the longest-headed, those 
with the most staying power, the strongest 
workers, will get the most of it. This theory 
is fatal to all individual and race betterment. 

The Creator never put vast multitudes 
of people on this earth to scramble for a 



THE LAW OF OPULENCE 39 

limited supply, as though He were not able to 
furnish enough for all. There is nothing in 
this world which men desire and struggle for, 
and that is good for them, of which there is 
not enough for everybody. 

Take the thing we need most — food. We 
have not begun to scratch the possibilities of 
the food supply in America. 

The State of Texas could supply food, 
home, and luxuries to every man, woman, and 
child on this continent. As for clothing, there 
is material enough in the country to clothe 
all its inhabitants in purple and fine linen. 
We have not begun yet to touch the possibili- 
ties of our clothing and dress supply. The 
same is true of all other necessities and 
luxuries. We are still on the outer surface of 
abundance, a surface covering kingly supplies 
for every individual on the globe. 

When the whale ships in New Bedford 
Harbor and other ports were rotting in idle- 
ness, because the whale was becoming extinct, 
Americans became alarmed lest we should 
dwell in darkness ; but the oil wells came to 
our rescue with abundant supply. And then, 
when we began to doubt tiiat this source 
would last, Science gave us the electric light. 

Like Newton, the greatest scientists of the 



40 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

world still feel that they are playing with 
grains of sand on the shore of our illimitable 
supply in every line of human need. The 
possibilities of finding heat, power, and light 
in chemical forces should the coal supply fail 
are simply boundless. 

The same thing is true of food. The most 
advanced agriculturist feels that he is but an 
amateur when it comes to the possibilities of 
mixing brains with the soil. Education and 
knowledge are enabling us to produce more 
from a few acres of soil than men formerly 
produced from hundreds of acres. Agriculture 
is still in its infancy. We know almost nothing 
as yet about the possibilities of getting nitro- 
gen from the atmosphere, and of renewing the 
soil. No matter which way we turn, Science 
matches our knowledge with her marvellous 
reserves and nowhere is there a sign of limit. 

There is building material enough to give 
every person on the globe a mansion finer 
than any that a Vanderbilt or Rothschild 
possesses. It was intended that we should all 
be rich and happy; that we should have an 
abundance of all the good things the heart 
can crave. We should live in the realization 
that there is an abundance of power where 
our present power comes from, and that we 



THE LAW OF OPULENCE 41 

can draw upon this great source for as much 
as we can use. 

There is something wrong when the chil- 
dren of the King of kings go about like sheep 
hounded by a pack of wolves. There is some- 
thing wrong when those who have inherited 
infinite supply are worrying about their daily 
bread ; are dogged by fear and anxiety so that 
they cannot take any peace ; that their lives 
are one battle with want ; that they are always 
under the harrow of worry, always anxious. 
There is something wrong when people are 
so worried and absorbed in making a living 
that they cannot make a life. 

We were made for happiness, to express joy 
and gladness, to be prosperous. The trouble 
with us is that we do not trust the law of in- 
finite supply, but close our natures so that 
abundance cannot flow to us. In other words, 
we do not obey the law of attraction. We 
keep our minds so pinched and our faith in 
ourselves so small, so narrow, that we strangle 
the inflow of supply. Abundance follows a law 
as strict as that of mathematics. If we obey 
it, we get the flow ; if we strangle it, we cut it 
oflF. The trouble is not in the supply ; there is 
abundance awaiting everyone on the globe. 

The majority of us still believe in the idea 



42 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

of competition. We regard it as a necessary 
principle of business, as is indicated by such 
maxims as " Competition is the Hfe of trade." 

If we could only realize and feel our close, 
intimate connection with the Power of in- 
finite supply, we could not want. 

It is the feeling of separateness from the 
great Power that makes us fear, just as the 
child's separation from its mother fills it with 
fear and terror. 

When we shall learn the cause of this feel- 
ing of separateness, that it is wrong thinking, 
sin, which isolates us, we shall know how to 
get in touch again with the great supplying 
Principle of the universe. 

When we feel a sense of unity, an at-oneness 
with the Creator, we cannot fear, we cannot 
want, because we are in the very midst of the 
supply, in the very lap of abundance. 

It is impossible for God's image and like- 
ness in man to reflect failure or poverty. 
Man's divine image reflects prosperity, riches 
that are royal, divine abundance that never 
fails, plenty that can never grow less. 

Many lives are like the great Sahara Desert, 
only here and there a little clump of green 
trees and flowers where there happens to be 
a little moisture; a tiny oasis here and there. 



THE LAW OF OPULENCE 43 

watered by a little encouragement — some good 
fortune that has come even in spite of the fact 
that the mental attitude has been totally un- 
favorable to the production of prosperity. 

A large, generous success is impossible to 
many people, because every avenue to their 
minds is closed by doubt, worry, fear. They 
have shut out the possibility of prosperity. 
Abundance cannot come to a mind that is 
pinched, shrivelled, skeptical, and pessimistic. 

Prosperity is a product of the creative mind. 
The mind that fears, doubts, depreciates its 
powers, is a negative, non-creative mind, one 
that repels prosperity, repels supply. It has 
nothing in common with abundance, hence 
cannot attract it. 

Of course, men do not mean to drive op- 
portunity, prosperity, or abundance away 
from them ; but they hold a mental attitude 
filled with doubts and fears and lack of faith 
and self-confidence, which virtually does this 
very thing without their knowing it. 

Oh, what paupers our doubts and fears 
make of us! 

No mind, no intellect is powerful or great 
enough to attract wealth while the mental 
attitude is turned away from it — facing in 
the other direction. 



44 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

Our pinched, dwarfed, blighted lives come 
from inability to unite with the great Source of 
all supply. All our limitations are in our own 
minds, the supply is there waiting in vast 
abundance. We take little because we demand 
little, because we are afraid to take the much 
of our inheritance — the abundance that is our 
birthright. We starve ourselves in the midst 
of plenty, because of our strangling thought. 
The opulent life stands ready to take us into 
its completeness, but our ignorance cuts us 
off. Hence the life abundant, the river of 
plenty, opulence unspeakable, flow past our 
doors and we starve on the very shores of the 
stream which carries infinite supply. 

It is not in our nature that we are paupers, 
but in our own mean, stingy appreciation of 
ourselves and our powers. The idea that 
riches are possible only to those who have 
superior advantages, more ability; those who 
have been favored by fate, is false and vicious. 

People who put themselves into harmony 
with the law of opulence harvest a fortune, 
while those who do not in many cases do not 
find enough to keep them alive. 

There is everything in feeling opulent. I 
know a lady who has such a wonderful ap- 
preciation of everything about her, who has 



THE LAW OF OPULENCE 45 

such superb ideas of life and the grandeur 
of its meaning, that it makes one feel rich to 
converse with her. With her there is no such 
thing as commonness. The most ordinary duties 
when performed by her are lifted into dignity 
and grandeur. Things come to her without 
worrying or anxious thought. She loves every- 
body and everybody loves her. She has no 
grudges against anybody, because her very 
nature is sunshine. There is no lack in her 
life, because she believes in and relies without 
doubt or shadow of fear on the Infinite 
Source of supply. She is rich, opulent in the 
truest sense of the word. Such people make 
others feel rich. 

On the other hand, we all know those who, 
no matter how much money they may have, 
never suggest opulence, never suggest any- 
thing rich or grand, because their natures are 
starved, shrivelled, and stunted. Greed and 
selfishness have sapped all the juices out of 
their lives and made them as barren of sweet- 
ness as sucked oranges. 

We must think plenty before we can realize 
it in the life. If we hold the poverty thought, 
the penury thought, the thought of lack, we 
cannot demonstrate abundance. We must hold 
the plenty thought if we would reach plenty. 



46 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

When we realize the fact that we do not 
need to look outside of ourselves for what we 
need ; that the source of all supply, the divine 
spring which can quench our thirst, is within 
ourselves, then we shall not want, for we 
know that we only have to dip deep into 
ourselves to touch the infinite supply. The 
trouble with us is that we do not abide in 
abundance, do not live with the creative, the 
all-supplying sources of things. 

It is said of a remarkably successful man 
of our times that he is unable to see poverty. 
His mind is so constructed that he seems to 
see abundance everywhere, and believes so 
implicitly in the law of opulence that he 
demonstrates it easily. He has no doubts to 
paralyze his endeavor. 

In the main we get out of life what we 
have concentrated upon. What we do, our 
environment, our position, our condition, are 
the results of our concentration, our life- 
focusing. If we have concentrated upon 
poverty, and we have thus pinched our inflow 
of prosperity, if our thoughts have, been of 
our unworthiness and the conviction that the 
best things in the world were not intended 
for us, of course we shall get what we have 
concentrated upon. If, on the other hand, we 



THE LAW OF OPULENCE 47 

have centred our thoughts along the hnes of 
prosperity, of abundance, if we have beUeved 
that the best things in the world are for us, 
because we are the children of God, and that 
health, happiness, and prosperity are our birth- 
right, and have done our best to realize our 
ideals, then our surroundings, our condition 
will outpicture our thought, our concentra- 
tion, our mental attitude. 

I have known people who have longed all" 
their lives to be happy, and yet they have 
concentrated their minds on their loneliness, 
their friendlessness, their misfortunes. They 
are always pitying themselves for the lack of 
the good things of the world. The whole trend 
of their habitual concentration has been upon 
things which could not possibly produce what 
they longed for. They have been longing for 
one thing, and expecting and working for 
something else. 

It is a great thing to learn to live in the 
All-Life, to keep close to infinite supply. 
Many of us imprison ourselves in the narrow 
limited poverty thought, and then, like caged 
eagles trying in vain to get free, we beat out our 
wings against the bars we have ourselves put up. 

Some natures are naturally filled with sug- 
gestions of plenty of all that is rich, grand, 



48 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

and noble. Some minds are so constituted that 
they instinctively plunge right into the mar- 
row of creative energy. Producing is as natu- 
ral to them as breathing. These people are not 
hampered by doubts, fears, timidity, or lack of 
faith in themselves. They are confident, bold, 
fearless characters. They never doubt that the 
infinite supply will be equal to their demand 
upon it. Such an opulent, positive mental at- 
titude is creative energy. 

When we have faith enough in the law of 
opulence to spend our last dollar with the 
same confidence and assurance that we would 
if we had thousands more, we have touched 
the law of divine supply. 

" Charity giveth itself rich. Covetousness 
hoardeth itself poor." 

A stream of plenty will not flow toward 
the stingy, parsimonious, doubting thought ; 
there must be a corresponding current of 
generosity, open-mindedness, going out from 
us. One current creates the other. A little 
rivulet of stingy-mindedness, a weak, poverty 
current going out from ourselves, can never 
set up a counter-current toward us of abun- 
dance, generosity, and plenty. In other words, 
our mental attitude determines the counter- 
current which comes to us. 



THE LAW OF OPULENCE 49 

Train yourself to come away from the 
thought of Hmitation, away from the thought 
of lack, of want, of pinched supply. This 
thinking abundance, and defying limitation 
will open up the mind and set thought cur- 
rents toward a greatly increased supply. 

When man comes into the full realization 
that God is his never-failing Supply, the 
Source of Abundance, the great Fountain 
Head of all that is good and desirable, and 
that he being His offspring, must be a part, 
an indestructible part of this supply, he will 
never more know poverty or lack of any kind. 

The sons and daughters of God were 
planned for glorious, sublime lives, and the 
time will come when all men will be kings and 
all women queens. When mans higher brain 
shall have triumphed over his lozver brain and 
the brute shall have been educated out of 
him, there will be no poverty, slavery, or vice. 
The time will come when the most miserable 
creature that walks on the globe to-day will 
be higher than the highest now on the earth. 
The plan of creation will have failed if every 
human being does not finally come into his 
own and return to his God as a king. 



IV. CHARACTER BUILDING AND 
HEALTH BUILDING DURING SLEEP 




IV. CHARACTER BUILDING AND 
HEALTH BUILDING DURING SLEEP 

However discordant or troubled you have been dur- 
ing the day, do not go to sleep until you have restored 
your mental balance, until your faculties are poised 
and your mind serene. 

HYSIOLOGISTS tell us that 
the mental processes which 
are active on retiring, con- 
tinue far into the night. 
These mental impressions on 
retiring, just before going 
to sleep, the thoughts that 
dominate the mind, continue to exercise in- 
fluence long after we become unconscious. 

We are told, too, that wrinkles and other 
evidences of age are formed as readily during 
sleep as when awake, indicating that the way 
the mind is set when falling asleep has a 
powerful influence on the body. 

]\Iany people cut off the best years of their 
lives by the continuation in their sleep of the 
wearing, tearing, rasping influences that have 
been operating upon them during the day. 

Thousands of business and professional 
men and women are so active during the da}', 
live such strenuous, unnatural lives, that they 

53 



54 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

cannot stop thinking after they retire, and 
sleep is driven away, or only induced after 
complete mental exhaustion. These people are 
so absorbed in the problems of their business 
or vocations that they do not know how to re- 
lax, to rest ; so they lie down to sleep with all 
their cares, just as a tired camel lies down in 
the desert with its great burden still on its 
back. 

The result is that, instead of being benefited 
by refreshing, rejuvenating sleep, they get up 
in the morning weary, much older than when 
they retired ; when they ought to get up full 
of vigor, w'ith a great surplus of energy and 
bounding vitality ; strong and ambitious for 
the day's work before them. 

The corroding, exhausting, discord-produc- 
ing operations which are going on when they 
fall asleep and which continue into the night, 
counteract the good they would otherwise get 
from their limited amount of sleep. All this 
shows the importance of preparing the mind 
to exercise a healthful, uplifting influence dur- 
ing sleep. 

It is more important to prepare the mind 
for sleep than the body. The mental bath is 
even more necessary than the physical one. 

The first thing to do is to get rid of the 



CHARACTER BUILDING 55 

rasping, worrying, racking influences which 
have been operating upon us during the day 
— to clean the mental house — to tear down all 
the dingy, discouraging, discordant pictures 
that have disfigured it, and hang up bright, 
cheerful, encouraging ones for the night. 

Never allow yourself, under any circum- 
stances, to retire in a discouraged, despondent, 
gloomy mood, or in a fit of temper. Never lie 
down with a frown on your brow ; with a 
perplexed, troubled expression on your face. 
Smooth out the wrinkles ; drive away grudges, 
jealousies, all the enemies of your peace of 
mind. Let nothing tempt you to go to sleep 
with an unkind, critical, jealous thought to- 
ward another in your mind. 

It is bad enough to feel unkindly toward 
others when under severe provocation, or 
when in a hot temper, but you cannot afiford 
to deliberately continue this state of mind 
after the provocation has ceased and spoil 
your sleep. You cannot afiford the wear and 
tear. It takes too much out of you. Life is too 
short, time too precious to spend any part of 
it in unprofitable, health-wrecking, soul-rack- 
ing thoughts. Be at peace with all the world at 
least once in every twenty-four hours. You 
cannot afiford to allow the enemies of your 



56 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

happiness to etch their miserable images 
deeper and deeper into your character as you 
sleep. Erase them all. Start every night with 
a clean slate. 

If you have been impulsive, foolish, wicked 
during the day in your treatment of others ; if 
you have been holding a revengeful, ugly, 
or jealous attitude toward others, wipe off 
your mental slate now and start anew. Obey 
the injunction of St. Paul, " Let not the sun 
go down upon your wrath." 

If you have difficulty in banishing un- 
pleasant or torturing thoughts, force yourself 
to read some good, inspiring book ; some- 
thing that will take out vour wrinkles and 
put you in a happy mood, and will reveal to 
you the real grandeur and beauty of life; 
that will make you feel ashamed of your 
petty meannesses and narrow, uncharitable 
thoughts. 

Saturate your mind with pleasant memories 
and with dreams of great expectations. Just 
imagine yourself the man or woman you long 
to become, filled with happiness, prosperity, 
and power. Hold tenaciously the ideal of the 
character you most admire, the personality to 
which you aspire — the broad, magnanimous, 
large-hearted, deep-minded, lovable soul which 



CHARACTER BUILDING 57 

you wish it were possible for you to become. 
The habit of such beautiful life-picturing and 
the power of reverie on retiring will very 
quickly begin to reproduce itself, outpicture 
itself in your life. 

After a little practice, you will be surprised 
to see how quickly and completely you can 
change your whole mental attitude, so that 
you will face life the right way before you 
fall asleep. 

A prominent business man told me recently 
that his great weakness was his inability to 
stop thinking after retiring. This man, who 
is very active during the day and works at a 
high tension, has a sensitive nervous organiza- 
tion, and his brain keeps on working both 
before and after he falls asleep as intensely 
as it did during the day. In this way he is 
robbed of so much sleep and what he gets is 
so troubled and unrefreshing, that he feels 
all used up the next day. 

I advised him to cultivate the habit of clos- 
ing the door of his business brain at the same 
time that he closed the door of his business 
office, " You should," I said, " insist on chang- 
ing the current of your thoughts when you 
leave your business for the day, just as you 
change your environment, or as you change 



58 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

your dress for dinner when you go home in 
the evening. Turn your thoughts to your wife 
and children, to their joys and interests ; 
talk to them, play games with them; read 
some humorous or entertaining story, or some 
strong, interesting book that will lift you, in 
spite of yourself, out of your business rut. Go 
out for a long walk or a ride ; fill your lungs 
with strong, sweet, fresh air ; look about you 
and observe the beauties of nature. Or have 
a hobby of some kind to which you can turn 
for recreation and refreshment when you quit 
your regular business. Be master of your 
mind. Learn to control it, instead of allowing 
it to control you and tyrannize over you. 

" Hang up in your bedchamber, in a con- 
spicuous place where you can always see it, 
a card bearing in bold illuminated letters this 
motto : ' No Thinking Here.' 

" Shut off all thinking processes of every 
kind when you retire for the night, relax 
every muscle ; let there be no tension of mind 
or body, and in a short time you will find that 
sleep will come to you as easily and naturally 
as to a little child, and that it will be as un- 
troubled, as sweet and refreshing as that of 
a child." 

To all who are troubled as this man was. 



CHARACTER BUILDING 59 

I would offer the same advice, for its adoption 
has proved very successful in his case. 

It is a great art to be able to shut the 
gates of the mental power-house on retiring, 
to control oneself, to put oneself in tune with 
the Infinite, in sympathy with those about him, 
and in harmony with the world; to expel 
from the mind everything which jars or ir- 
ritates — all malice, envy, and jealousy, the 
enemies of our peace and happiness — before 
we go to sleep. Yet it is an art that all can 
acquire. 

It is possible for everyone, either by think- 
ing, reading, or pleasant social influences, to 
conquer all discordant moods, to overcome 
every unkind feeling, to banish every frown 
from the face, every wrinkle from the mind, 
and to go to sleep with a smile on the face. 

When you go to sleep in the right mental 
attitude you will be surprised to find how 
serene and calm, how refreshed and cheerful, 
you will be when you awake in the morn- 
ing, and how much easier it will be to start 
right and to wear a smile for the day than 
it was when you went to bed worrying, ill- 
humored, or full of ungenerous, uncharitable 
thoughts. 

The devotional attitude on retiring to sleep 



6o PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

is of very great value, inasmuch as it tends 
to soothe, cahn, and reassure the mind, to 
destroy all fear, worry and anxious thoughts 
and to put one in tune with higher, nobler 
thoughts. 

Persistency in preparing the mind for 
peaceful, healthful, happy sleep will prolong 
your life and your youth. More important still, 
it will have a far-reaching influence on your 
health and the foundation of your character. 
The habit of clearing the mental temple of 
all discords, error, hatred, revenge, every- 
thing which tends to gloom and darkness be- 
fore going to sleep, and persisting in holding 
bright pictures in the mind, in dwelling on 
noble and uplifting thoughts, will in time 
revolutionize the whole life. 

We are just beginning to realize that there 
is an enormous power lying dormant in the 
Great Within of us, and that this latent force 
or power seems to be very susceptible to 
stimulus during sleep, when the objective 
world and its many disturbing conditions are 
absent. 

We little realize the amount of activity — 
undirected activity — that goes on in our sub- 
conscious minds during sleep. 

There is a lot of unconscious philosophy in 



CHARACTER BUILDING 6i 

the expression one so often utters, " I would 
like to sleep over this proposition," problem — 
or whatever it is. Without knowing the secret 
of it, we realize that things somehow clear up 
during sleep in a remarkable way. We see 
things in a different light in the morning. 
Perhaps the thing we were most enthusiastic 
over the night before, and which, had we 
carried out, would have been obviously in- 
jurious, often seems silly, ill-advised, im- 
possible to us in the morning, not because we 
really consciously thought much about it, but 
because there is something in our subcon- 
scious mentality M'hich often solves knotty 
problems for us while asleep — problems which 
staggered us in our waking hours. 

Great mathematicians, scientists, and as- 
tronomers have many times been surprised to 
find very difficult problems that their reason 
could not elucidate during the day solved 
without apparent effort during sleep. 

There is no doubt that much of our moral 
education and character-forming is carried on 
during sleep subconsciously, and since the 
psychology of this education and character- 
forming during sleep is based on the fact that 
the processes which are going on in the brain 
when we fall asleep tend to continue during 



62 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

the night, we can readily see what marvellous 
possibilities lie in the right direction and 
guidance of this mysterious subconscious 
power. 

I know persons who have performed won- 
ders in reforming themselves by self-sugges- 
tion on retiring at night, holding the happy, 
inspiring, helpful suggestion in the mind up 
to the point of unconsciousness. Persons have 
overcome ugly tempers and dispositions in 
this way as well as other unfortunate traits. 
The holding of the vigorous, robust, healthy 
ideal — the ideal and the spirit of youth — has 
immense possibilities in the way of self-re- 
freshment, reinvigoration, and rejuvenation, 
and is especially helpful to those who are ad- 
vanced in years. 

If those who are inclined to melancholy and 
the " blues " would, just before going to sleep, 
insist on the nothingness of these delusions, 
and substitute the bright, cheerful, hopeful, 
optimistic thought, they would very soon over- 
come this unfortunate tendency. 

If poverty is grinding us under its heel, we 
should affirm before going to sleep that the 
Creator has provided sufficient to give every- 
one the necessaries and comforts of life, with- 
out any worry about them on our part. Instead 



CHARACTER BUILDING 63 

of thinking of poverty we should hold in the 
mind the suggestion of opulence, of pros- 
perity. We thus make the action of the sub- 
conscious mind attract to us what we need 
and desire. 

If we have any defect or weakness, we 
should hold firmly and persistently in mind, 
before we go to sleep, just the opposite char- 
acteristic or quality ; this will tend to attract 
to us the thing we long for. If we desire to 
overcome any vice, we should plead the whole- 
ness, the completeness which we long to attain. 

Bad tem.per, inebriety, selfishness and deceit- 
fulness, all sorts of vicious and immoral ten- 
dencies, have been eradicated in this manner. 

Children seem especially susceptible to sug- 
gestion, or what, for a better name, may be 
called the " going-to-sleep " treatment. This is 
because the subconscious mind is particularly 
active in the young and much more easily 
reached, especially during the first stages of 
sleep, when just dropping into unconscious- 
ness. 

Truths emphasized at this time will be 
remembered more readily by the child and are 
more likely to be acted upon during the wak- 
ing hours than those which are emphasized 
while he is awake, for when he is in the sub- 



64 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

conscious state he does not antagonize ad- 
vice. 

Some very remarkable results in the cor- 
rection of vicious tendencies in children have 
recently been accomplished by appealing to 
their divine natures — their better selves — 
through mental suggestion during sleep. 

The effective treatment of sickness in in- 
fants and children through the medium of 
such suggestioij shows how easily the subcon- 
sciousness can be influenced when the child 
is in the unconscious, or semiconscious state. 

If a child is naturally timid, and afraid of 
" ghosts," the darkness, or any other thing, 
the mother can often help it to overcome these 
fears by talking to it while it is dropping to 
sleep. If it is weak, delicate or ill, she can 
suggest the healing Christ-truth, the health- 
ideal, strength, vigor, harmony. If it is timid, 
she can suggest confidence and courage. 

The suggestion of success to the child who 
has been backward in school, or who has 
failed in his studies, will often have a wonder- 
ful effect in the way of establishing confidence 
and hope. 

If the mother talks to her child and reasons 
with it as it drops off into sleep, just as she 
would if the child were awake, she will find 



CHARACTER BUILDING 65 

that her words will have far more effect than 
if he were conscious, for the stubbornness, the 
natural inclination to resist, to do that which 
is forbidden, which is present in the child's 
mind during its waking hours, is quiescent, 
and it listens to and heeds its mother's advice 
quietly, naturally, unquestioningly. The wise 
mother who makes all sorts of good sugges- 
tions to her children in her talks — substituting 
the good for the bad, love for hatred and jeal- 
ousy, unselfishness for selfishness — soon finds 
a marked change in their dispositions. By in- 
jecting into the little Hfe confidence, hope, 
love, joy, courage, self-reliance, purity — all 
the higher and nobler attributes — she can 
wonderfully change her child's disposition. 

The time will come when all mothers will 
understand the importance of suggestion in 
influencing a child's conduct and shaping its 
character. 

A few already recognize the power of 
mental suggestion in all its forms, but in the 
new age that is coming, none will be ignorant 
of its wonderful character-forming and life- 
transforming possibilities. 

If those who have not tried it before begin 
now, I am sure that in a very short time they 
will be surprised at the beneficent results that 



66 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

will follow this persistent practice of flooding 
the mind with pure and noble thoughts before 
going to sleep — close up to the very point of 
unconsciousness. 

I am sure those who try it will find delight 
and satisfaction in the habit not only of clear- 
ing the mind before going to sleep of all 
worry and anxiety, all grudges and jealousies 
— of everything that clouds the intellect — but 
also in stoutly and persistently claiming the 
things which they long for as already theirs. 

Be sure that when you fall asleep there is 
only that in your consciousness which will 
help you to be more of a man — more of a 
woman. Determine that your mind, when you 
lose conscious thought, shall have in it no 
black images and no dark spots, but only 
beautiful images and thoughts of hope and 
good will toward every living creature ; that 
there shall be no failure thought, no poverty 
thought, no ugly, discordant thought, but that 
everything shall be bright, cheerful, hopeful, 
helpful and optimistic. 



V. HEALTH THROUGH RIGHT 
THINKING 



V. HEALTH 
THINKING 



THROUGH RIGHT 



There is a nobleness of mind that heals 
Wounds beyond salves. 

— Cartwright. 

"God never made his work for man to mend." 




ROFESSOR WILLIAM 
JAMES, of Harvard Univer- 
sity, says " we are just now 
witnessing a very copious un- 
locking of new ideas through 
the converts to metaphysical 
healing, or other forms of 
spiritual philosophy. The ideas are healthy- 
minded and optimistic. The power, small or 
great, comes in various shapes to the individ- 
ual ; power not to ' mind ' things that used to 
vex one ; power to concentrate one's mind ; 
good cheer ; good temper ; a firmer and more 
elastic tone. The most saintly person I have 
ever known is a friend now suffering from can- 
cer of the breast. I do not assume to judge of 
the wisdom or unwisdom of her disobedience 
to the doctors, but cite her case here solely as 
an example of what an idea can do. Her ideas 
have kept her practically a well woman for 

69 



70 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

months after she would otherwise have given 
up and gone to bed. They have annulled pain 
and weakness and given her a cheerful, active 
life ; a life unusually beneficent to those 
around her." 

Few people realize how largely their health 
depends upon the saneness of their thinking. 
You cannot hold ill-health thoughts, disease 
thoughts, in the mind without having them 
outpictured in the body. The thought will ap- 
pear in the body somewhere, and its quality 
will determine the results — sound or unsound, 
healthful or unhealthful. As it is impossible 
for a person to remain absolutely pure who 
habitually holds pictures of impurity in the 
imagination, so it is just as impossible to be 
healthy while holding the disease thought. 
There cannot be harmony in the body with 
disease in the mind. 

The health stream, if polluted at all, is 
polluted at the fountain-head — in the thought, 
in the ideal. 

The different organs seem to be especially 
susceptible to certain kinds of mental in- 
fluence. Excessive selfishness, covetousness, 
envy, especially affect the liver and the spleen. \ 
Hatred and anger have a very aggravating 
influence upon some diseases of the Hdneys. 



HEALTH 71 

Jealousy seriously affects both the liver and 
the heart. 

If there is fear, worry, anxiety in the mind, 
the heart's action indicates it quickly. There 
is no doubt that where mental discord, such 
as worry, anxiety and jealousy, have become 
chronic, the heart suffers accordingly. Thou- 
sands of people have died from heart troubles 
which have been induced by mental discord. 

Dr. Snow in the London Lancet asserts his 
conviction that the vast majority of cases of 
cancer, especially of breast and uterine cancer, 
are due to mental anxiety and worry. Jaun- 
dice from anxiety is reported by Dr. Churton 
in the British Medical Journal. 

The liver is affected very materially by dis- 
cordant thought. Jaundice often follows great 
mental shocks, especially frequent great and 
prolonged outbursts of temper. 

It is well known that many people are made 
bilious by long-continued despondency and 
worry. 

Dr. Murchison, an eminent authority, says : 
" I have been surprised how often patients 
with primary cancer of the liver have traced 
the cause of this ill-health to protracted grief or 
anxiety. The cases have been far too numer- 
ous to be accounted for as mere coincidences." 



72 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

The functions of the skin are seriously 
affected by the emotions. 

Sir B. W. Richardson, in his work " The 
Field of Disease," says : 

" Eruptions on the skin will follow ex- 
cessive mental strain. In all these, and in 
cancer, epilepsy, and mania from mental 
causes, there is a predisposition. It is remark- 
able," he adds, " how little the question of the 
origin of physical disease from mental in- 
fluences has been studied." 

We can never gain health by contemplating 
disease, any more than we can reach perfection 
by dwelling upon imperfection, or harmony 
by dwelling upon discord. 

We should keep a high ideal of health and 
harmony constantly before the mind ; and we 
should fight every discordant thought and 
every enemy of harmony as we would fight 
a temptation to crime. Never aiHrm or repeat 
about your health what you do not zvish to 
\e true. Do not dwell upon your ailments nor 
-Vudy your symptoms. Physicians tell us that 
perfect health is impossible to the self-dis- 
sector, who is constantly thinking of himself, 
studying himself, and forever on the alert for 
the least symptom of disease. 

Librarians report that there is an astonish- 



HEALTH 73 

ing demand among readers for medical books. 
Many who imagine they have some particular 
disease often develop a morbid curiosity or 
desire to read everything they can get hold 
of that bears upon the subject. When they 
find, as they do frequently, that some of the 
symptoms of the disease they are reading 
about coincides with their own, the conviction 
is still more deeply fastened in thtlr minds 
that they have this disease. The strength of 
this conviction is often their greatest hindrance 
to a cure. 

Nervous people with vivid imaginations 
rarely see life in a perfectly sane and health- 
ful way ; they are very apt to become morbid 
and to make mountains out of molehills. Every 
little ache or pain is exaggerated and inter- 
preted as a symptom of something worse t<^ 
come. 

These people are powerfully affected by 
hereditary convictions. If they have an unfor- 
tunate family history ; if their ancestors died 
of consumption, cancer, or any other of the 
dread diseases, the conviction that they are 
likely to develop one or the other of these 
fatal maladies hangs like a pall over their 
lives, seriously impairs their health, and para- 
lyzes their efficiency. 



74 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

What a terrible thing- to go through life 
with such a nightmare staring one in the face ! 
How foolish, and destructive of all power, to 
live with the spectre of death constantly by 
one's side; to drag through years with the 
settled conviction that you are not going to 
live long ; that there are terrible disease seeds 
within you which are liable to develop at any 
time and carry you off! 

Think of a person spending years in getting 
a college and professional education, and more 
years still in training for a specialty, while all 
the time haunted by the possibility that he 
may be thwarted by the development of some 
terrible hereditary disease which may prema- 
turely cut off his life ! It would be enough to 
kill the ambition of a Napoleon. 

I know people in delicate health who habitu- 
ally hold in their minds sick and discordant 
thoughts. They are always thinking and talk- 
ing of their ailments. They gloat over their 
symptoms, watch them, study them, look for 
them, until they have what they expect — for 
like produces like ; it cannot produce anything 
else. A reversal of the thought — thinking of 
health instead of disease, and holding in mind 
the health picture instead of the disease pic- 
ture — would cure many an invalid without 



HEALTH 75 

medicine. Healthy thought is the greatest 
panacea in the world. 

Many people not only cripple their effi- 
ciency, but keep themselves sick, or in a con- 
dition of semi-invalidism or diminished power, 
by holding constantly in their minds negative 
suggestions as indicated by such expressions 
as : " Oh, I do not feel well to-day " ; " I feel 
miserable " ; " I am weak " ; " I am half sick " ; 
" My food does not agree with me " ; "I did 
not sleep well last night, and I know I shall 
not be good for much to-day." 

If you are constantly saying to yourself, " I 
am wretched, weak and sick," " I am running 
down all the time," how can you expect to be- 
come strong and well ? '* According to thy 
word be it unto thee." 

Health and vigor will never come to you if 
you perpetually harp upon your weakness and 
pity yourself because of your poor health. 
Health is integrity. Health is wholeness, com- 
pleteness, n you talk anything else, you will 
get it, for " According to thy word be it unto 
thee." 

Imagine yourself an attorney pleading the 
cause of your health. Summon up every bit of 
evidence you can possibly find. Do not give 
away your case to your opponent. Plead it 



76 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

vigorously with all the strength you can com- 
mand. 

You will be surprised to see how your body 
will respond to such mental pleading; such 
robust, vigorous, healthy affirmative argument. 

I know of a case where a physician in pass- 
ing through a ward thoughtlessly said to the 
nurse, in a voice loud enough for the patient 
to overhear, " That man cannot live." The 
young man happened to know enough about 
the power of the mind as a restorative to as- 
sert himself, and said to the nurse with great 
emphasis, " I will live." He got well. 

We do not realize how we weaken our- 
selves and destroy our powers of disease 
resistance by harboring the sick, the disease 
thought, by holding in the mind the idea of 
physical weakness and debility. 

If we could always keep in the mind the 
strong, robust, vigorous ideal, the health ideal, 
the ideal of power instead of weakness, the 
ideal of perfection, wholeness, completeness ; 
if we could only keep in the mind the ideal of 
the divine man God intended, and not the mere 
burlesque of a man which the breaking of 
laws, bad living, and sinning have produced ; 
if we could only carry the ideal of personal 
power, which is our birthright, there would 



HEALTH 



77 



be -no room for the harboring- of the sickly 
ideal — the weak, debilitated, decrepit ideal. 

If it were possible to have the mind in us 
which was in Christ, we should not have dis- 
ease. Disease could not attack us any more 
than impurity or sin could find lodgment in 
His mind. The time will come when right 
thinking will be the great preventive medicine 
for all mankind, and when physical discord 
will indicate that someone has sinned in his 
thought. Humboldt said, " The time will come 
when it will be considered a disgrace for a 
man to be sick, when the world will look upon 
it as a misdemeanor, the result of some vicious 
thinking." 

I believe the time will come when disease 
will not be able to fasten itself upon those 
whose thought is pure, clean, and strong, be- 
cause this quality of thought is healing. We 
used to regard dyspepsia, for example, as the 
result of a disordered stomach. Now we know 
it is the result of the disordered, discordant 
thought. It is the legitimate child of worry 
and anxiety, of jealousy and remorse. 

The time will come when greed and all 
forms of selfishness will be looked upon as a 
disease which we pay very dearly for in the 
outpicturing of some physical discord. People 



78 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

little realize what price they pay in physical 
suffering for their selfishness. 

We cannot think ill-health ; we cannot hold 
the thought of disease ; we cannot harbor con- 
victions that this disease or that is lurking in 
the system — that there are seeds of disease 
within us only waiting for an opportunity to 
develop and destroy us without seriously im- 
pairing the harmony of the body and its ef- 
ficiency. 

Every discordant thought, every thought of 
ill-health, all the vivid pictures of unfortunate 
physical conditions held in the imagination, 
all the horrible ghosts of fear — the things we 
dread and are anxious about — all the passions 
of anger and hatred, jealousy and envy, greed 
and selfishness, impair or ruin digestion and 
assimilation, and affect the integrity of all 
physical functions. 

The mind is the health sculptor, and we 
cannot surpass the mental health pattern. If 
there is a weakness or a flaw in the thinking 
model, there will be corresponding deficiencies 
in the health statue. 

So long as we think ill-health and doubt 
our ability to be strong and vigorous ; so long 
as we hold the conviction of the presence of 
inherited weaknesses and disease tendencies ; 



HEALTH 79 

so long as the model is defective — perfect 
health is impossible. The life, the health follow 
the thought, the conviction. 

Somehow most people seem to think that 
health is something fixed by a sort of destiny 
or fate ; that it is largely a question of heredity 
and constitution which cannot be materially 
altered. 

But why should we not think the same 
about our happiness, about our vocation? We 
take infinite pains and spend many years in 
preparing ourselves for our life-work. We 
know that a successful career must be based 
upon scientific principles of training, of sys- 
tem and order ; that every step of a successful 
career must be taken only after great thought 
and consideration. We know that it means 
years of hard work to establish ourselves in 
life in a profession or business ; but our health, 
upon which everything else hangs — upon 
which it depends absolutely — we take very 
little trouble to establish. 

When we remember that the integrity and 
efficiency of all the mental faculties depend 
upon health ; that robust health multiplies ten- 
fold the power of our initiative ; increases 
our creative ability ; generates enthusiasm and 
spontaneity; strengthens the quality of judg- 



8o PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

ment, the power of discrimination, and the 
force of decision, the power of execution, we 
should be very diligent to establish it. 

We should lay a foundation for our health 
just as we establish anything of importance — 
by studying and adopting the sanest and the 
most scientific methods. We should think 
health, talk health, hold the health ideal, just 
as a law student should think law, talk law, 
read law, live in a law atmosphere. 

Health is largely a moral question. Sys- 
tematic living alone will not produce it. We 
must establish it by right thinking, sane think- 
ing. 

Health can be established only by thinking 
health instead of disease, strength instead of 
weakness, harmony instead of discord, truth 
thoughts instead of error thoughts, love 
thoughts instead of hatred thoughts ; by up- 
building thoughts which are constructive in- 
stead of destructive — tearing down. 

Confidence is a powerful factor in health. 
We should thoroughly believe in our ability 
to keep ourselves well by healthful, harmo- 
nious, happy thinking. 

So long as we doubt our ability to maintain 
health, so long as we picture to ourselves dis- 
ease and physical weakness and vicious or in- 



HEALTH 8i 

herited tendencies — it is impossible to attain 
*n a strong, normal physical condition, 
'mfhe time will come when we will no more 
cXVow discordant thoughts in our mind than 
we would scatter thistle seeds over our gar- 
dens. Knowing well that thinking is building, 
our thinking will be reflected in our bodies. 

To make ill-health an excuse for non-per- 
formance of our great life duties will be a 
reflection upon our integrity; will indicate 
weakness or deception. Sickness and disease 
will show that we have not been true in our 
thought — in our motives — that we have sinned 
and are paying the penalty in suffering and 
thwarted ambition. 

Many people to-day are ashamed to say 
they are ill, because they know that it indi- 
cates sin somewhere — a violation of the law of 
harmony, of health. We are beginning to see 
that it is not only unnecessary to be sick, but 
that it is a disgrace for God's creatures to be 
whining and ailing and complaining when they 
ought to be doing the great things they were 
made to do. We ought to be living the abun- 
dant life which it was intended that we should 
live. We were so planned that existence alone 
should be a perpetual joy. 

When we get a glimpse of our real divinity, 



82 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

we shall absolutely refuse to be sick. We shall 
be as much ashamed to confess that we a^'* 
suffering from a cold, rheumatism, dyspep 
or gout as we should now be to acknowledges, 
theft. The coming man will radiate health 
and gladness as naturally as the rose exhales 
beauty and fragrance. He will radiate life and 
vigor as naturally as he breathes. Because he 
will think only healthful thoughts, he cannot 
possibly radiate anything unhealthful. We re- 
flect only the results of our thinking. 

Thoughts are things, and they leave their 
characteristic marks on the mind. No joy 
thought can produce gloom, or health thought 
disease. The fear thought held constantly in 
the mind cannot produce a state of courage. 
It is only the courageous thought that can pro- 
duce confidence. 

Some great physician has said that there 
is something in man which was never born, 
is never sick, and never dies ; and it is this 
something — this divine, omnipotent force — 
which heals our diseases. No matter what else 
we may call it, it is the force that creates, that 
restores us. We may call it the God principle, 
the Christ within us, the divine principle, the 
omnipotent force, or any name we please; it 
is the creative, the all-sustaining, infinite force. - 



HEALTH 83 

The same Power that created us repairs us. 
H we could only harmonize our lives with this 
immortal principle, this best thing in us, we 
would reach our highest efficiency, our great- 
est possible happiness ; and until we can har- 
monize ourselves with this something within 
us which was never born and never dies, this 
divine principle which never sins, we can 
never be efficient or very happy. This is the 
only reality in us — the only truth of our being. 

The rust which gradually eats away the 
piano strings cannot destroy the great law of 
harmony. The disease which destroys the nerve 
cells, the brain cells, does not affect in the least 
our reality — the truth of our being. That is in- 
destructible, immortal — beyond the reach of 
what we call death. We all feel, like the great 
German physician, that there is something 
within us which can never be sick, which is not 
subject to disease, and which is as immortal as 
God Himself. 

Man is Mind. That is the great reality of 
life. The way to establish health is to think 
hourly that you " live and move and have your 
being " in the great God principle. That is the 
underlying truth in all harmony. Like Paul, 
believe that no power can separate you from 
this divine love principle, this omnipotent 



84 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

power. Love and truth are always working 
for you. Carry the conviction constantly that 
the God principle is the only power in the uni- 
verse. All creation, all life, have their origin 
in this. 



VI. MENTAL CHEMISTRY 



VI. MENTAL CHEMISTRY 

Every volition and thought of man is inscribed on his 
brain. Thus a man writes his life in his physique, and 
thus the angels discover his autobiography in his 
structure. — Swedexborg. 




HE experiments made by Pro- 
fessor Elmer C. Gates have 
shown that irascible, malev- 
olent, and depressing emo- 
tions generate in the system 
injurious compounds, some 
of which are extremely poi- 
sonous ; and that agreeable, happy emotions 
generate chemical compounds of nutritious 
value, which stimulate the cells to manufac- 
ture energy. 

" For each bad emotion," says Professor 
Gates, " there is a corresponding chemical 
change in the tissues of the body. Every good 
emotion makes a life-promoting change. Every 
thought which enters the mind is registered 
in the brain by a change in the structure of 
its cells. The change is a physical change more 
or less permanent. 

" Any one may go into the business of 
building his own mind for an hour each day, 
calling up pleasant memories and ideas. Let 

87 



88 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

him summon feelings of benevolence and un- 
selfishness, making- this a regular exercise like 
swinging dumb-bells. Let him gradually in- 
crease the time devoted to these psychical 
gymnastics until it reaches sixty or ninety 
minutes per diem. At the end of a month he 
will find the change in himself surprising. The 
alteration will be apparent in his actions and 
thoughts. It will have registered in the cell 
structure of his brain." 

There are many ways of ruining the body 
besides smoking or getting drunk, or indulg- 
ing in other sensual vices. Anger changes the 
chemical properties of the saliva to a poison 
dangerous to life. It is well known that sud- 
den and violent emotions have not only weak- 
ened the heart in a few hours, but have also 
caused death and insanity. 

It has been discovered by scientists that 
there is a chemical difference between that 
sudden cold exudation of a person under a 
deep sense of guilt, and the ordinary perspira- 
tion ; and the state of the mind of a criminal 
can sometimes be determined by chemical 
analysis of the perspiration, which, when 
brought into contact with selenic acid, pro- 
duces a distinctive pink color. 

" Suppose half a dozen men in a room," says 



MENTAL CHEMISTRY 89 

Professor Gates; "one feels depressed, another 
remorseful, another ill-tempered, another jeal- 
ous, another cheerful, another benevolent. 
Samples of their perspiration are placed in the 
hands of the psychophysicist. Under his ex- 
amination they reveal all those emotional con- 
ditions distinctly and unmistakably." 

It is well known that fear has killed thou- 
sands of victims, while, on the other hand, 
courage is a great restorer. 

Anger in the mother may poison a nursing 
child. Rarey, the celebrated horse-tamer, said 
that an angry word would sometimes raise the 
pulse of a horse ten beats in a minute. Experi- 
ments with dogs show similar results. 

If this is true of a beast, what can we say 
of its power upon human beings, especially 
upon a child? Strong mental emotion often 
causes vomiting. Extreme anger or fright may 
produce jaundice. A violent paroxysm of rage 
has caused apoplexy and death. Indeed, in 
more than one instance, a single night of 
mental agony has wrecked a life. 

The Almighty never intended that wc should 
be the sport of our passions, or the victims of 
harmful suggestions. The power of mastery 
is within ourselves, but we must develop it, 
cultivate it, use it. 



90 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

That man is truly great who can rule his 
mental kingdom, who at will can master his 
moods ; who knows enough of mental chemis- 
try to neutralize a fit of the " blues," to anti- 
dote any evil, poisonous thought with the 
opposite thought, just as a chemist neutralizes 
an acid which is eating into his flesh by apply- 
ing an alkaline antidote. A man ignorant of 
chemistry might apply another acid which 
would eat still deeper into his flesh ; but the 
chemist knows the antidote of the particular 
acid that is doing the mischief, and can kill 
its corrosive, eating quality in an instant. 

So the mental chemist knows how to coun- 
teract the corrosive, wearing, tearing power 
of the despondent, depressing thought by its 
-cheerful antidote. He knows that the optimis- 
tic thought is sure death to the pessimistic 
thought ; that harmony will quickly neutral- 
ize any form of discord ; that the health 
thought will antidote the ailing, sick thought; 
that the love thought will kill the hatred 
thought, the jealous, revengeful thought. He 
does not need to suffer mental anguish, be- 
cause he always has his mental remedy with 
him. The moment he applies its antidote, the 
fatal corrosive power of the malignant thought 
is neutralized. 



MENTAL CHEMISTRY 91 

If children were taught mental chemis- 
try, as they are taught physical chemistry, 
there would be no ailing pessimists, no victims 
of the " blues." We should not see so many 
long, dejected, gloomy faces everywhere. We 
should not see so many criminals, so many 
sorrowful, tragic failures in every rank of 
society, in every walk of life. 

Many of us keep our minds more or less 
poisoned much of the time because of our 
ignorance of mental chemistry. We suffer 
from mental self-poison and do not know it. 
Neither do we know how to antidote the 
poison passions which are working havoc in 
our bodies. 

Nothing else will so exhaust the vitality and 
whittle away life as violent fits of hatred, 
bitter jealousy, or a determination for revenge.. 
We see the victims of these passions worn out, 
haggard, old, even before they have reached 
middle life. There are cases on record where 
fierce jealousy and hatred raging through the 
system aged the victims by years in a few 
days or weeks. 

Yet these mental poisons are just as easily 
antidoted, conquered, as physical poisons 
which have well-known antidotes. If we are 
sick with a fever we go to a physician for an 



92 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

antidote; but when jealousy or hatred is rag- 
ing within us we suffer tortures until the fever 
gradually wears itself out, not knowing that 
by an application of love which would quickly 
antidote it, we could easily have avoided not 
only the suffering but also the wear and tear 
of the entire system, especially of the delicate 
brain structure. 

As there is no filth, no impurity, in any 
water which cannot be removed by the science 
of chemistry, so there is no human mind so 
filthy, so poisoned with vicious thinking and 
vicious habits, so saturated with vice, that it 
cannot be cleared up by right thinking; by 
the counter suggestion of the thing that has 
polluted it. 

It is the poison-specialist's, the toxicologist's 
duty to know what will antidote every kind 
of poison. He would not try to save a patient 
from arsenic poison with the antidote for 
morphine. He must have the arsenic antidote, 
and he can tell by the symptoms in each case 
what poison has been taken. 

Many a precious life has been lost which 
could have been saved if people around the 
victim at the time had only known the anti- 
dote of the poison taken. I have known a man 
poisoned with carbolic acid to be given the 



MENTAL CHEMISTRY 93 

antidote for prussic acid, which, of course, 
did not save the patient, because it was not 
the right antidote. 

The time will come when every intelligent 
person will be expert enough in mental chemis- 
try to be able to apply the proper antidotes 
for special forms of mental poisoning. 

We shall find that it is just as easy to coun- 
teract an unfriendly, disagreeable, vicious 
thought by turning on the counter thought, as 
it is to rob the hot water of its burning power 
by turning on the cold-water faucet. We shall 
be able to regulate the temperature of our 
thought as the temperature of w^ater. If the 
water is too hot we simply turn on the cold 
faucet. If we feel our brain heating up with 
hot temper, we shall simply turn on the love 
thought, the peace thought, and the anger 
heat will be instantly counteracted. 

In other words, it is perfectly possible, and 
not very difficult, to absolutely control the 
quality of the thought, to regulate our peace 
of mind, to maintain poise and balance, a 
sweet, peaceful mental serenity, under the 
most trying circumstances. 

It will be absolutely impossible, by any kind 
of aggravation or work or passion or torture, 
to disturb the balance, the dignified serenity, 



94 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

of the coming' man. It will be impossible to 
make him suffer, because he knows the secret 
of counteracting the vicious, harmful thought 
so that it will be neutralized or will fall flat. 
If the coming man feels the " blues " coming 
on, he will be able to counteract this condition 
in an instant. He will know how to stop the 
eating of the acid thought with the alkali 
thought. If he feels a sense of weakness com- 
ing on he will immediately annihilate it by a 
flood thought of strength and robustness — 
vigor. 

Think, for example, how many human ills 
can be antidoted by the magical chemistry of 
the love thought ! It is a solvent for selfishness 
and greed, a destroyer of hatred, envy, and 
jealousy, of revenge, criminal intent, and a 
score of other mental and physical enemies. 

Think what it would mean if we could 
only keep the mind filled with loving, helpful, 
hopeful, encouraging, cheerful, fearless sug- 
gestions! We would not then need to deny 
their opposites, for, when the positive is pres- 
ent, the negative flees. 

We cannot drive the darkness out of a 
room. We let in the light and the darkness 
flees. 

The way to get rid of discord is to flood 



MENTAL CHEMISTRY 95 

the mind with harmony ; then the discord 
vanishes, as darkness flees before the light. 

The way to get despondency and discour- 
agement out of the mind is to fill it with en- 
couraging, hopeful, cheerful pictures. Discour- 
agement and despondency are killed by their 
opposites. They are the natural antidotes. 

An acid is instantly killed by the presence 
of an alkali. Fire cannot exist in the presence 
of its opposite, carbonic-acid gas or water. We 
cannot drive hatred, jealousy, revenge out of 
the mind by will power, by trying to force 
them out. Love is the alkali which will im- 
mediately neutralize, antidote them. 

Hatred cannot live an instant in the presence 
of love. The Golden Rule will kill all jealousy 
and revenge. They cannot live together. 

The trouble with most people is that they 
try to drive out the bad in themselves instead 
of antidoting it with the good. They try to 
force hatred out of their minds without the 
assistance of its antidote. 

Change the mental attitude — think love, feel 
love for that object which we hated, and the 
hatred is instantly neutralized. Whenever you 
are timid, inclined to express doubt, fear or 
anxiety in any form, expel these destructive 
suggestions with their counter suggestions. 



96 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

Remember that every morbid mood, every 
discordant, weak thought is a symptom of a 
poisoned mind. You have the antidote — just 
the opposite thought. Your mind remedy is 
always present. The antidote for all error is 
truth, for all discord, is harmony. You do 
not have to pay a physician. You have your 
own recipe always with you. When you have 
learned the secrets of mental chemistry you 
can instantly stop every symptom and check 
every approach of mind disease. 

Every true, beautiful, and helpful thought 
is a suggestion which, if held in the mind, 
tends to reproduce itself there — clarifies the 
ideals and uplifts the life. While these inspir- 
ing and helpful suggestions fill the mind their 
opposites cannot put in their deadly work, be- 
cause the two cannot live together. They are 
mutually antagonistic, natural enemies. One 
excludes the other. 

I know a woman of beautiful character who 
has acquired the art of quickly refreshing her 
mind even in the most trying and exacting 
conditions. Knowing the power of mental im- 
ages to renew the mind, she has made a study 
of her thought enemies and learned to elimi- 
nate all those which suggest dark, unfortunate 
images, by dwelling on their opposites — those 



MENTAL CHEiMISTRY 97 

which bring beautiful, cheerful, uplifting, en- 
couraging pictures to her mind. 

By cherishing one and excluding the other, 
she freshens and clarifies her thought and re- 
juvenates her life at will. 

Through her thorough knowledge and prac- 
tice of mental chemistry, she has been able to 
maintain a calm, sweet serenity, a cheerful 
mental balance and harmony of disposition 
which endears her to all who know her. 

The human body is made exclusively of 
cells. We are nothing but a mass of cells of 
twelve different varieties, such as brain cells, 
bone cells, muscle cells, etc. The maximum of 
health and power depends upon the absolute 
integrity of every cell. Sickness and disease 
simply mean that some of the cells in the body 
are impaired. 

Many people seem to think that thought 
only affects the brain ; but the fact is ive think 
all over. 

Physiologists have found gray brain matter 
in the tips of the fingers of the blind. The 
marvellous feats of the blind; the fact that 
they can distinguish most delicate textures, 
denominations of money, colors, even fine 
tints, shades, all show that thinking is not 
confined to the brain. We think all over. 



98 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

The body is a sort of extended brain. Every 
thought that enters the brain cells is quickly 
communicated to every cell in the entire body, 
thus accounting for the tremendous instan- 
taneous influence of a shock caused by fatal 
news or some terrible catastrophe to every 
part of the body, instantly affecting all the 
secretions and functions. 

The effect of bad news in a telegram often 
instantly affects the heart, stomach, and brain. 
This explains the numerous cases in medical 
history where the hair has turned white in a 
few hours, sometimes in a few minutes, from 
the shock of bad news. The transmission of 
the shock from the brain to every cell in the 
body is almost instantaneous. 

The billions of cells in the body are all tied 
together in the closest contact — by affinity, 
sympathy. What injures or helps one, injures 
or helps all. Every cell suffers or is a gainer, 
gets a life impulse or a death impulse, accord- 
ing to the character of the thought. 

It has been established by experiments that 
we pay for all our unfortunate, vicious think- 
ing in impaired cell life. Innumerable ex- 
periments have established the fact that all 
healthful, hopeful, joyous, encouraging, up- 
lifting, optimistic, cheerful thoughts improve 



MENTAL CHEMISTRY 99 

the cell life of the entire body. They are crea- 
tive, while the opposite thoughts are destructive 
of cell life. 

When we learn the fact that every thought 
and emotion is quickly registered, even in the 
remotest cell in the body, then we shall learn 
to be extremely careful of the character of the 
thought and the emotion. We shall then know 
that the harboring of sick, discouraged, de- 
spondent thoughts, thoughts of fear, worry, 
jealousy, hatred, anger, and selfishness, will 
deteriorate the integrity of the entire cell life, 
and that the health standards will not only 
drop, but that our mental and physical energy 
alike will be diminished accordingly. We shall 
then know that the health thought, the robust, 
vigorous thought will react upon and give an 
uplift to every cell in the body. 

The greatest work a human being can do 
is to keep his entire cell life in the superbest 
possible condition. Then he will be absolutely 
normal ; and when normal he will be right, 
truthful, honest, sincere, noble. 

Much of the unhappiness, the inefficiency 
and the wretched, slipshod work, much of the 
crime of the world, are due to impaired cell 
life from vicious, unscientific thinking. 

When a person is perfectly normal, he has 



loo PEACE, rOWER, AND PLENTY 

no desire to do wrong. It is when his cell life 
is deiiuM-alized by bad thinking-, which leads to 
vicious living;, dissipated habits, that he is 
tempted to go wrong. So, not only the highest 
morality, the supremest hapi)iness, but the 
highest efficiency, depend upon the healthy 
condition of the cell life. 

How comparatively easy it would be to do 
right and to be successful if the body were 
always in the best condition! 

It is when the cell life is demoralized that 
the standard is lowered; it is because we are 
abnormal, that we are tempted to vicious liv- 
ing. The blood is poisoned from vicious think- 
ing and we go wrong in spite of ourselves. 

Every individual is afloat in a sea of thought, 
wdiere currents are running in every direction. 
When we are subject to all sorts of opposing 
influences, conflicting thought-currents, we 
soon come to grief in this turbulent sea, if 
we do not know the laws of mental chemistry. 
We must know how to neutralize our enemy 
thoughts by applying their antidotes. We must 
be able to master our moods, to direct our 
thoughts, and thus protect our lives from all 
evil influences within and without. 

One of the great problems in establishing 
wireless telegraphy was the neutralizing or 



MENTAL CHEMISTRY loi 

getting rid of the influence of conflicting cur- 
rents going in every direction through the 
atmosphere. The great problem of character- 
building, life-building, is to counteract, to 
nullify conflicting thought-currents, discord- 
ant thought-currents, which bring all sorts 
of bad, injurious suggestions to the mind. 
Tens of thousands have already solved this 
problem. Everyone can apply mental chemis- 
try, the right thought-current to neutralize the 
wrong one. 

He is a fortunate man who early learns the 
secret of scientific mental culture, and who 
acquires the inestimable art of holding the 
right suggestion in his mind, so that he can 
triumph over the dominant note in his environ- 
ment when it is unfriendly to his highest good. 

There is nothing truer than that " we can 
make ourselves over by using and developing 
the right kind of thought-forces." 

Not long ago a young man whom I had not 
seen for several vears called on me, and I was 
amazed at the tremendous change in him. 
When I had last seen him he was pessimistic, 
discouraged, almost despairing ; he had soured 
on life, lost confidence in human nature and in 
himself. During the interval he had completely 
changed. The sullen, bitter expression that 



I02 PEACE, POWER, AXD PLENTY 

used to characterize his face was replaced by 
one of joy and gladness. He was radiant, 
cheerful, hopeful, and happy. 

f The young man had married an optimistic 
wife, who had the happy faculty of laughing 
/ him out of his " blues "' or melancholy, chang- 
ing the tenor of his thoughts, cheering him up, 
and making him put a higher estimate on him- 
self. His removal from an unhappy environ- 
ment, together with his wife's helpful " new- 
thought " influence and his own determination 
to make good, had all worked together to 
bring about a revolution in his mental make- 
up. The love-principle and the use of the right 
thought-force had verily made a new man of 
him. 

We are beginning to learn that man carries 
the great panacea for all ills within himself; 
that the antidotes for the worst poisons — tlie 
poisons of hatred, jealousy, anger, revenge, 
a false ambition, and of all evil thoughts and 
passions — exist in his own mind in the form 
of love, charity, and good-will essences. 

/ 



VII. IMAGINATION AND HEALTH 



VII. IMAGINATION AND HEALTH 



Fancy can save or kill; it hath closed up 

Wounds when the balsam could not, and without 
The aid of salves — to think hath been a cure. 

— Caetwright. 




OT long ago a clergyman was 
sent to a hospital, suffering 
terribly, and so weak that he 
could scarcely hold up his 
head. He said he had swal- 
lowed several false teeth and 
the plate, and that he felt the 
horrible grinding and cutting of these in his 
stomach. 

The physician in attendance tried to talk 
him out of this idea, but to no purpose. A little 
while later a telegram from his wife informed 
him that the teeth had been found under the 
bed. Mortified and chagrined at having made 
such a fool of himself, the clergyman, free 
from his imaginary suffering, immediately got 
up, dressed himself, paid his bill and went 
home without assistance. 

As long as the man was convinced that the 
false teeth were in his stomach, all the talking 
in the world could not have made him believe 
that his suffering was a delusion. This con- 
viction had to be changed first. 



io6 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

Physicians tell us that susceptibility to con- 
tagious diseases depends very largely upon 
the mental condition, that it is possible for a 
person during great excitement to work with 
perfect immunity among patients suffering 
from the most malignant diseases. 

I have seen a vigorous, athletic man so com- 
pletely paralyzed by the shock from an ac- 
cident that he could scarcely lift a pound 
weight. He was as weak and nerveless as a 
child. No material substance had touched him 
or opposed him — just a terrifying thought, 
which came like lightning, did the work, made 
a pvgmy of a giant in an instant. 

Well-authenticated cases have been recorded 
by physicians where patients, who had a mortal 
fear of chloroform, went into syncope before 
a whiff of chloroform had been given. They 
became perfectly unconscious through the 
suggestion of their own minds. 

I know of a physician who, while away 
from home on a fishing trip, was summoned 
to attend a patient who was suffering inde- 
scribable agony. He had no medicine case, no 
drugs with him; but the tactful physician, 
knowing the power of suggestion, made small 
powders out of ordinary flour and gave in- 
structions with the greatest care as to the 



IMAGINATION AND HEALTH 107 

exact time and manner of taking. They were 
to be given every few minutes. 

The patient was told that he was being 
treated by a noted physician, and his great 
faith in the physician and the remedy in a 
short time wrought a marvellous change in his 
condition. He said that he felt the effects of 
the medicine throughout his entire being. 
Flour and faith did the work. 

In the medical report, after the great epi- 
demic of yellow fever in Philadelphia, we find 
this reference to the remarkable healing balm 
in the spiritual influence of the great Dr. Rush. 

" Dr. Rush's presence zvas a powerful stimu- 
lant; men recovered to zvhom he gave no 
medicine, as if his word was enough to turn 
the fever." 

The sick thought must go before the sick 
condition will depart. When the diseased 
thought goes, the body at once rebounds and 
becomes normal. 

I recently heard of a young lady who, 
while at the theatre with her fiance, com- 
plained suddenly of feeling faint. Her fiance, 
a young doctor, took something out of his 
pocket, and, giving it to her, whispered, " Keep 
this tabloid in your mouth, but don't swallow 
it." The young lady did as directed, and im- 



io8 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

mediately felt better. Curious to know what 
the " tabloid " was, which, although it had not 
dissolved, had given her such relief, she ex- 
amined it on her return home, and found — 
a small button ! 

Medical history shows that thousands of 
people have died the victims of their imagina- 
tion. They were convinced they had diseases 
which in reality they never had. The trouble 
was not in the body but in the mind. 

Few of us realize the almost superhuman 
power of the imagination in its effect upon the 
body. Nothing is better known than that many 
people every year die with imaginary hydro- 
phobia. It is a very common thing to regard a 
dog as mad which simply has a fit, or is so 
frightened at being pursued by those who are 
afraid of it, and who project their state of 
mind to its brain that it appears to be mad. 

A short time ago I read a story about a 
young officer in India who consulted a great 
physician because he felt fagged from the ex- 
cessive heat and long hours of service. The 
physician examined him and said he would 
write to him on the morrow. The letter the pa- 
tient received informed him that his left lung 
was entirely gone, his heart seriously affected, 
and advised him to adjust his business affairs 



IMAGINATION AND HEALTH 109 

at once, " Of course, you may live for weeks," 
it said, " but you had best not leave important 
matters undecided." 

Naturally the young ofificer was dismayed 
by this death warrant. He grew rapidly worse, 
and in twenty-four hours respiration was dif- 
ficult and he had an acute pain in the region 
of the heart. He took to his bed with the con- 
viction that he should never rise from it. 
During the night he grew rapidly worse and 
his servant sent for the doctor. 

" What on earth have you been doing to 
yourself?" demanded the physician. "There 
was no indication of this sort when I saw you 
yesterday." 

" It is my heart, I suppose," weakly an- 
swered the patient in a whisper. 

" Your heart ! " repeated the doctor. " Your 
heart was all right yesterday." 

" My lungs, then," said the patient. 

" What is the matter with you, man ? You 
don't seem to have been drinking." 

" Your letter, your letter ! " gasped the pa- 
tient. " You said I had only a few weeks to 
live." 

" Are you crazy ? " said the doctor. " I 
wrote you to take a week's vacation in the 
hills and you would be all right." 



no PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

The patient, with the pallor of death in his 
face, could scarcely raise his head from the 
pillows, but he drew from under the bed- 
clothes the doctor's letter. 

" Heavens, man ! " cried the physician ; 
" this was meant for another patient ! My as- 
sistant misplaced the letters." 

The young officer sat up in bed immediately, 
and was entirely well in a few hours. 

When I was in the Harvard Medical 
School, one of the best professors there, a 
celebrated physician, who had been lecturing 
upon the power of the imagination, warned 
the students against the dangers of imagining 
that they themselves had the disease about 
which they studied. During this very time the 
professor told me that he got it into his head 
that he was developing Bright's disease in his 
own system. This conviction became so strong 
that he did not even dare to have an examina- 
tion made. He was so certain that he was in 
the grasp of this so-called fatal disease that he 
preferred to die rather than be told of his con- 
dition by another physician. He lost his ap- 
petite, lost flesh rapidly, and became almost 
incapable of lecturing, until one day a medical 
friend, astonished at the change in his appear- 
ance, asked what was the matter with him. 



IMAGINATION AND HEALTH m 

" I have Bright's disease," was the reply. 
" I am sure of it, for I have every symptom." 

" Nonsense," said his friend ; " you have 
nothing of the kind." 

After a great deal of persuasion, the pro- 
fessor was induced to submit to an examina- 
tion, and it was discovered that there was not 
the slightest evidence of Bright's disease in his 
system. He rallied so quickly that even in a 
dav those who knew him noticed the chansre. 
His appetite returned, his flesh came back, and 
he was a new man. 

Medical history is full of examples of peo- 
ple who have been made sick purely through, 
the domination of the imagination. A London 
medical journal gives the following instances : 

" Two London men stayed in the country 
at a house where scarlet fever was reported. 
One, an unimaginative, healthy-minded fellow, 
awoke all right in the morning. The other, a 
nervous, sensitive man, was very ill — had not 
slept and had broken out into a terrible rash, 
which both declared to be scarlet fever. A 
wire to a London medical man was despatched, 
and by the first train he hurried down. The 
supposed fever patient proved to have no 
fever at all beyond an imaginative one. In 
fact, there was no scarlet fever in the house. 



112 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

The case had been wrongly diagnosed, and 
the frightened visitor had tortured himself 
into a violent rash, all without cause. 

" At another house two men stayed, where 
an inmate had died of cholera. One man 
placed in the room in which the patient had 
died was in ignorance of what had occurred. 
He slept well and was no worse. The other, 
wrongly told that the room in which he slept 
was that in which the cholera patient had died, 
spent a night of mental agony and in the 
morning was actually found to be suffering 
from this complaint. He died of cholera." 

People read these stories and believe them, 
yet cannot see that their own perverted im- 
aginations, their own sick, discordant, dis- 
couraged thoughts will produce similar effects 
upon themselves. 

We are all at some time in our lives victims 
of the imagination. The conviction that we 
have been exposed to a terrible malady, to 
some incurable, contagious disease, completely 
upsets the entire system and reverses the proc- 
esses of the various functions ; the mind does 
not act with its customary vitality and power 
and there is a general dropping of physical 
and mental standards all along the line, until 
we become the victims of the thing we fear. 



VIII. HOW SUGGESTION INFLU- 
ENCES HEALTH 



VIII. HOW SUGGESTION INFLU- 
ENCES HEALTH 



By holding the thought of what we wish to become, 
we can in a large measure become what we desire. 

Man is beginning to find that the same Principle 
which created him, repairs, restores, renews him. 




OMEONE has said: "The 
mortalest enemy you can 
have is the friend who meets 
you and says : ' You are not 
looking well to-day; what's 
the matter ? ' From that mo- 
ment you don't feel well. 
Your friend has blasted your hope and spread 
a pall over your brain." 

The power of suggestion is strikingly illus- 
trated by the fact that a hypnotic subject under 
control may be burned until a blister is raised, 
by the application of a cold coin. 

Now, if it is possible for the thought sug- 
gested by another to produce a blister on the 
body, it does not seem strange that a sugges- 
tion can cause or cure dyspephbo and other 
ills. If it is possible to make the hypnotic sub- 
ject stagger and reel like a drunken man, just 
by holding in his mind the suggestion that a 
glass of pure water he drank was whiskey, it 

"5 



ii6 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

is certainly possible to produce all sorts of 
effects by mental suggestion. 

Some examples of the marvellous power 
of suggestion are given by Dr. Frederik Van 
Eden, a graduate of medicine at the Uni- 
versity of Amsterdam, and an advocate of the 
psychotherapeutic method of healing the sick. 
In speaking of Professor Debove, of Paris, 
an authority in such cases, he said: 

" At his clinic in the hospital of St. Andral 
he showed me how he could give a patient a 
glass of water, telling him that it was wine, 
and how the patient took it for wine. I saw 
how he told a man that a cold silver spoon 
was glowing hot, and how the man dropped 
it with every token of burning pain. How he 
gave another a book and said : ' Look at it ; 
it's all white paper ! all blank ! . . . Now blow 
on it. Look again ! — it's all portraits, all por- 
traits ! Now blow again ! — all landscapes and 
pictures ! Look ! ' And the man saw every- 
thing in great amazement, and even described 
the landscapes and portraits which nobody 
saw but 1 self. ' Well, I never saw magic 
like this,' said the man. 

" ' ril do better,' said Debove. ' Shut your 
eyes. When you open them, I have no head.' 
And as the man looked up he stared at the 



SUGGESTION AND HEALTH 117 

professor with a wild, scared look. ' Well,* 
said Debove, ' how do you like me without 
my head ? ' And the poor man struck his own 
head with a violent blow and said : ' For sure, 
I have gone mad ! ' " 

I have seen an experiment tried on a horse, 
to make him believe he was sick. He was 
covered with blankets, rubbed with medicines, 
pitied and petted until he lost his appetite, and 
could not be induced to eat or drink. Another 
perfectly sound horse was so thoroughly con- 
vinced, in a short time, by the holding up of 
his foot, feeling of it, bandaging it, and rub- 
bing it with liniment, that he was lame, that 
he actually limped when he attempted to walk. 

It is well known that the fears, the anxieties, 
and the worries of mothers have a great deal 
to do with the diseases of their children. 

The expectant mental attitude of nervous 
mothers who are always on the lookout for 
the enemies of their darlings tends to invite, to 
attract, the very things they fear. Constantly 
watching for symptoms of any disease that 
happens to be in their neighborhood, the 
mental pictures photographed on their brains 
are quickly communicated to the impression- 
able mind of the child and impair his bodily 
functions. 



ii8 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

In a home which I visited recently, the 
mother kept telling her little boy how ill he 
looked, asking him how he felt, and giving 
him doses of this and doses of that. At least 
half a dozen times during the evening she 
asked the different children of the family how 
they felt, if they had a headache or a cold. 
She was worried all the time about them; 
afraid they would get into draughts, go out- 
doors bareheaded, or get their feet wet. She 
was constantly warning them to avoid these 
things, and telling them that if they didn't 
they would get croup, or pneumonia, or some- 
thing terrible would happen to them. In other 
words, she kept the picture of physical discord 
constantly in the minds of her children. The 
result was that some member of the family 
was sick most of the time. The mother said 
she could not go out much because there was 
so much sickness in her family. 

The father was almost as bad as the mother 
in worrying about the health of the family. 
He would call his little boy to him, feel his 
pulse, tell him his skin was hot, that he was 
feverish ; he would look at his tongue and 
remark that he was a sick boy. The result was 
the boy actually thought himself sick and had 
to go to bed. 



SUGGESTION AND HEALTH 119 

How little parents realize the harm they do 
in projecting their own discordant thoughts 
and fears into their children's receptive minds, 
thus tending to develop the very thing they 
are trying to avoid ! 

Think of children being brought up in such 
an atmosphere of fear and anxiety and disease- 
picturing, constantly warned of danger, and 
cautioned all the time not to do this or that, 
until they begin to think there are very few 
things that a person can do with safety ! They 
grow up with a terrible fear of disease that 
becomes a perpetual nightmare. 

If parents only knew what an unmitigated 
curse fear of disease is, they would try to 
drive it out of their children's minds ; they 
never would picture symptoms of physical 
discord of any kind. 

We are just beginning to appreciate the 
marvellous power of suggestion to uplift or 
depress the mind. Only recently I heard a very 
intelligent woman say that she was forced to 
take to her bed for the greater part of a day 
because of the depressing influence of a maga- 
zine story she had just read. The story was 
written by a famous writer. It was strong, 
but brutal. It appealed to what was morbid in 
her mind and completely prostrated her. 



I20 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

It is common for medical students to be- 
come ill through the horrible suggestions of 
the dissecting rooms, and the depressing in- 
fluence which comes from the constant study 
of disease conditions. 

On the other hand, the constant mental con- 
tact with cheerful, hopeful, health thoughts, 
must tend to reproduce the corresponding 
qualities in the body. 

The mind of a sick person is in more or less 
of a helpless, subjective, negative condition, 
and is very susceptible to thought influences, 
good or bad. In health, the positive, creative 
mental attitude gives the mind the power of 
resistance, which protects it from its enemies. 

Most of us know what a glorious uplift and 
stimulus we have received when ill, from a 
call from one who is cheerful and optimistic, 
and who injects hope and courage into us. 
And we know how we dread to have some 
people call on us when we are ill, because they 
rob us of hope and leave us in such a dejected 
mood by their long faces and pessimistic 
minds. They always leave the depressing shad- 
ows of gloom and discouragement behind them. 

Sick people, like children, require a great 
deal of encouragement. They want hope held 
out to them. 



SUGGESTION AND HEALTH 121 

Imagine what an uplift it would be to a 
patient if his physician, nurse, relatives, and 
friends were all trying to radiate hope, good 
cheer, and courage, as will be the common 
custom in the future ! 

The cheerful, optimistic physician, who is 
always reassuring his patients, arousing their 
healing energies (potencies which are in all 
of us), telling them how well they look, hold- 
ing out hope to them, and trying to cheer 
them up, has a powerful influence for good. 
The optimism of many physicians is worth 
infinitely more to their patients than all the 
remedies they prescribe. 

I once knew two physicians in hospitals in 
Boston who illustrated this point. One was an 
extreme optimist with a keen sense of humor. 
He was always cracking jokes with the pa- 
tients, cheering them up, and telling funny 
stories. The whole atmosphere of the wards 
was entirely changed after he had passed 
through them. His bright, cheerful face and 
sunny optimism gave the patients a great up- 
hft. 

The other physician was morose, stern, 
silent, profound, a man of great learning but 
of few words and who seldom smiled. If he 
found a patient not looking quite so well as 



122 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

usual he did not hesitate to tell him so, and 
that he was losing ground. 

He was conscientious and always said what 
he thought, even when it was cruel. The 
sick one, thus discouraged, would often im- 
mediately lose heart and collapse. 

Physicians little realize how implicitly pa- 
tients pin their faith to them and how closely 
they watch their faces for signs of encourage- 
ment, a ray of hope. 

The most advanced physicians of all schools 
are beginning to see the uplifting force and 
healing power in a patient's own confidence in 
his recovery. 

Some conscientious physicians think they 
should always tell the patient exactly how 
he is, that it is his right to know, especially 
when in extreme danger. Now, there might 
be reason in this if the physician were om- 
niscient, if he never erred in his diagnosis, 
if he could measure with exactitude every 
force acting in the man ; but even the most 
learned physicians feel that they know com- 
paratively little about the human mechanism. 
They know that patients often recover after 
eminent physicians in consultation have given 
up all hope. Why should they not give the 
patient the benefit of a doubt, especially when 



SUGGESTION AND HEALTH 123 

they know the power of a depressing thought 
or unfavorable verdict on one in an extremely 
weak condition? Does a physician owe his 
patient a greater duty than to help him all he 
can to recover? There is a great healing 
power in hope, in confidence. 

The influence of the strong mind of the 
physician on the weak, discouraged, exhausted 
patient is far-reaching and he should give him 
as much mental uplift and hope as possible 
There are times when a physician owes his 
patient an infinitely greater duty than to tell 
him the truth, or what he believes to be the 
truth. 

The power of suggestion on expectant minds 
is often little less than miraculous. An invalid 
with a disappointed ambition, who thinks he 
has been robbed of his chances in life, and 
who has suffered for years, becomes all 
wrought up over some new remedy which is 
advertised to do marvels. He is in such an 
expectant state of mind that he is willing to 
make any sacrifice to obtain the remedy, and 
when he gets it, he is in such a receptive mood 
that he responds quickly to the suggestion and 
thinks it is the medicine he has taken which 
has worked the magic. 

Religious history is full of examples of peo- 



124 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

pie who have been cured by going to famed 
springs, by bathing in sacred waters, or 
streams supposed to have great curative 
qualities. 

People who go to health resorts attribute 
their improvement to change of air or to the 
waters they drink, when, as a matter of fact, 
it has probably been wrought by change of 
environment, change of mental suggestion, as 
much as by the change of air or water. 

Buoyancy of mind, courage, hope, and 
cheerfulness are factors that far outweigh 
drugs in the cure of the sick, and should be 
encouraged in every possible way. 

The trouble with us is that we do not realize 
the omnipotent remedies that lie within our 
own minds. There is not a human ill which 
does not have its specific remedy — not a pallia- 
tive, but an absolute cure — named in the Bible. 

Nothing is more strongly emphasized in the 
Sacred Book than the fact that love heals. 
We have suggestions of this in the balm of 
the mother love which soothes and cures the 
child's fears and all its little hurts and ills. 
How naturally the child runs to the mother for 
a kiss to heal its bruises, and into the shelter 
of her arms to ward ofif whatever it fears ! 

If the child feels this healing power of the 



SUGGESTION AND HEALTH 125 

mother love, what shall we say of the potency 
of divine love — love that is selfless ? The Bible 
assures us that " perfect love casteth out 
fear," and fear is one of the most potent 
sources of discord and disease. 

What better remedy could be imagined for 
those suffering from fear — the greatest enemy 
of the human race — than is to be found in the 
study and application of the ninety-first psalm ? 
Could anything be more reassuring than the 
opening words of this grand psalm — " He that 
dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High 
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty " ? 

There is no fear, no fit of the " blues," no 
despondency or discouragement, which this 
psalm, if properly studied and applied, would 
not cure. Think what its realization would 
mean to those who are in the very depths of 
despair. Could there be any other refuge such 
as that " under the shadow of the Almighty "? 

He who lives close to God (good), who 
abides in His love, fears nothing, is not wor- 
ried or anxious, because he feels always the 
protection of omnipotent Power and infinite 
Wisdom. 

A few passages from the Scriptures will 
show how freely and fully abundant life, 
health, strength — all good things — are prom- 



126 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

ised to those who heed the words of God, who 
love Him and put their faith in Him. 

Attend to my words. . . . For they are life 
unto those that find them, and health to all 
their flesh. — Prov. iv, 20, 22. 

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew 
their strength ; they shall mount up with wings 
as eagles ; they shall run, and not be weary ; and 
they shall walk, and not faint. — Isaiah xl, 31. 

He sent his word and healed them. — Psalm 
cvii, 20. 

I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. 
— Psalm XXX, 2. 

His flesh shall be fresher than a child's. — 
Job xxxiii, 25. 

For I will restore health unto thee, and I 
will heal thee of thy wounds. — Jer. xxx, 17. 

Behold, I will heal thee. — H Kings xx, 5. 

Then shall thy light break forth as the 
morning, and thine health shall spring forth 
speedily. — Isaiah Iviii, 8. 

I am the Lord that healeth thee. — Exodus 
XV, 26. 

There shall be no more death, neither sor- 
row, nor crying, neither shall there be any 
more pain ; for the former things are passed 
away. — Rev. xxi, 4. 

" Neither shall any plague " (discord or 



SUGGESTION AND HEALTH 127 

harm) "come nigh thy dwelHng" (Psalm xci, 
10), is the promise to him that " dwelleth in the 
secret place of the Most High" (Psalm xci, i). 

Let thine heart keep my commandments : 
For length of days, and long life, and peace, 
shall they add to thee. — Prov. iii, 1-3. 

When we are thoroughly intrenched in the 
conviction of our unity with the All-good ; 
when we realize that we do not take on health 
from outside by acquiring it, but that we are 
health ; that we do not absorb a bit of justice, 
here and there, but that we are justice; that 
we do not take on truth, a little here and a 
little there, but that we are truth itself, prin- 
ciple, then we shall really begin to live. 

I believe that most people are conscious of 
a power deep in their nature which would 
remedy all their ills if they only knew how 
to get hold of it. We all feel that there is 
something divine in us, something in the flesh 
that is not of it, a power back of the flesh 
that will ultimately redeem us and bring us 
into the state of blessedness which we instinc- 
tively feel is the right of the children of the 
King of kings. ("The great end of life is to 
train ourselves to find this creative, rejuvenat- 
ing, life-giving force and to ai)ply it to our 
everyday life. ) 



IX. WHY GROW OLD? 



IX. WHY GROW OLD? 



"The face cannot betray the years until the mind has 
given its consent. The mind is the sculptor." 

"We renew our bodies by renewing our thoughts; 
change our bodies, our habits, by changing our 



thoughts." 




OT long ago the former secre- 
tary to a justice of the New 
York Supreme Court com- 
mitted suicide on his seven- 
tieth birthday. 

" The Statute of Limita- 
tions ; a Brief Essay on the 
Osier Theory of Life," was found beside the 
dead body. It read in part : 

" Threescore and ten — this is the scriptural 
statute of limitations. After that, active work 
for man ceases, his time on earth has ex- 
pired. . . . 

" I am seventy — threescore and ten — and I 
am fit only for the chimney-corner. . . ." 

This man had dwelt so long on the so-called 
Osier theory — that a man is practically use- 
less and only a burden to himself and the 
world after sixty — and the biblical limitation 
of life to threescore years and ten, that he 
made up his mind he would end it all on his 
seventieth birthday. 

131 



132 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

Leaving aside Dr. Osier's theory, there is no 
doubt that the acceptance in a strictly literal 
sense of the biblical life limit has proved a 
decided injury to the race. We are powerfully 
influenced by our self-imposed limitations and 
convictions, and it is well known that many 
people die very near the limit they set for 
themselves, even though they are in good 
health when this conviction settles upon them. 
Yet there is no probability that the Psalmist 
had any idea of setting any limit to the life 
period, or that he had any authority whatever 
for so doing. Many of the sayings in the Bible 
which people take so literally and accept 
blindly as standards of living are merely fig- 
ures of speech used to illustrate an idea. So 
far as the Bible is concerned, there is just as 
much reason for setting the life limit at one 
hundred and twenty or even at Methuselah's 
age (nine hundred and sixty-nine) as at sev- 
enty or eighty. There is no evidence in the 
Scriptures that even suggests the existence 
of an age limit beyond which man was not 
supposed or allowed to pass. 

In fact the whole spirit of the Bible is to 
encourage long life through sane and health- 
ful living. It points to the duty of living a 
useful and noble life, of making as much of 



WHY GROW OLD? 133 

ourselves as possible, all of which tends to 
prolong our years on earth. 

It would be a reflection upon the Creator to 
suggest that He would limit human life to less 
than three times the age at which it reaches 
maturity (about thirty) when all the analogy 
of nature, especially in the animal kingdom, 
points to at least five times the length of the 
maturing period. Should not the highest mani- 
festation of God's creation have a length of 
life at least equal to that of the animal? 
Infinite wisdom does not shake the fruit off 
the tree before it is ripe. 

We do not half realize what slaves we are to 
our mental attitudes, what power our convic- 
tions have to influence our lives. Multitudes 
of people undoubtedly shorten their lives by 
many years because of their deep-seated con- 
victions that they will not live beyond a certain 
age — the age, perhaps, at which their parents 
died. How often we hear this said : " I do not 
expect to live to be very old ; my father and 
mother died young." 

Not long ago a New York man, in perfect 
health, told his family that he was certain he 
should die on his next birthday. On the morn- 
ing of his birthday his family, alarmed because 
he refused to go to work, saying that he 



134 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

should certainly die before midnight, insisted 
upon calling in the family physician, who ex- 
amined him and said there was nothing the 
matter with him. But the man refused to eat, 
grew weaker and weaker during the day, and 
actually died before midnight. The conviction 
that he was going to die had become so in- 
trenched in his mind that the whole force of 
his mentality acted to cut off the life force, and 
finally to strangle completely the life processes. 

Now, if this man's conviction could have 
been changed by some one who had sufficient 
power over him, or if the mental suggestion 
that he was going to live to a good old age 
had been implanted in his mind in place of the 
death idea, he would probably have lived many 
years longer. 

If you have convinced yourself, or if the 
idea has been ingrained into the very structure 
of your being by your training or the multi- 
tudes of examples about you, that you will be- 
gin to show the marks of age at about fifty, 
that at sixty you will lose the power of your 
faculties, your interest in life ; that you will 
become practically useless and have to retire 
from your business, and that thereafter you 
will continue to decline until you are cut off 
entirely, there is no power in the world that 



WHY GROW OLD? 135 

can keep the old-age processes and signs from 
developing in you. 

Thought leads. If it is an old-age thought, 
old age must follow. If it is a youthful thought, 
a perennial young-life thought, a thought of 
usefulness and helpfulness, the body must 
correspond. Old age begins in the mind. The 
expression of age in the body is the harvest 
of old-age ideas which have been planted in 
the mind. We see others about our age begin- 
ning to decline and show marks of decrepitude, 
and we imagine it is about time for us to show 
the same signs. Ultimately we do show them, 
because we think they are inevitable. But they 
are only inevitable because of our old-age 
mental attitude and race habit beliefs. 

If we actually refuse to grow old ; if we 
insist on holding the youthful ideal and the 
young, hopeful, buoyant thought, the old-age 
ear-marks will not show themselves. 

The elixir of youth lies in the mind or no- 
where. You cannot be young by trying to 
appear so, by dressing youthfully. You must 
first get rid of the last vestige of thought that 
you are aging. As long as that is in the mind, 
cosmetics and youthful dress will amount 
to very little in changing your appearance. 
The conviction must first be changed; the 



136 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

thought which has produced the aging con- 
dition must be reversed. 

If we can only establish the perpetual-youth 
mental attitude, so that we feel young, we have 
won half the battle against old age. Be sure of 
this, that whatever you feel regarding your 
age will be expressed in your body. 

It is a great aid to the perpetuation of 
youth to learn to feel young, however long 
we may have lived, because the body ex- 
presses the habitual feeling, habitual thought. 
Nothing in the world will make us look young 
as long as we are convinced that we are 
aging. 

Nothing else more effectually retards age 
than the keeping in mind the bright, cheerful, 
optimistic, hopeful, buoyant picture of youth, 
in all its splendor, magnificence ; the picture 
of the glories which belong to youth — youth- 
ful dreams, ideals, hopes, and all the qualities 
which belong to young life. 

One great trouble with us is that our im- 
aginations age prematurely. The hard, exact- 
ing conditions of our modern, strenuous life 
tend to harden and dry up the brain and 
nerve cells, and thus seriously injure the 
power of the imagination, which should be 
kept fresh, buoyant, elastic. The average rou- 



WHY GROW OLD? 137 

tine habit of modern business life tends to 
destroy the flexibility, the delicacy, the sensi- 
tiveness, the exquisite fineness of the percep- 
tive faculties. 

C People who take life too seriously, who 
seem to think everything depends upon their 
own individual efforts, whose lives are one 
continuous grind in living-getting, have a 
hard expression, their thought outpictures 
itself in their faces. These people dry up 
early in life, become wrinkled ; their tissues 
become as hard as their thought. ) 

The arbitrary, domineering, overbearing 
mind also tends to age the body prematurely, 
because the thinking is hard, strained, ab- 
normal. 

People who live on the sunny and beautiful 
side of life, who cultivate serenity, do not age 
nearly so rapidly as do those who live on the 
shady, the dark side. 

Another reason why so many people age 
prematurely is because they cease to grow. 
It is a lamentable fact that multitudes of men 
seem incapable of receiving or accepting new 
ideas after they have reached middle age. 
Many of them, after they have reached the 
age of forty or fifty, come to a standstill in 
their mental reaching out. 



138 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

Don't think that you must " begin to take 
in sail," to stop growing", stop progressing, 
just because you have gotten along in years. 
By this method of reasoning you will decline 
rapidly. Never allow yourself to get out of 
the habit of being young. Do not say that 
you cannot do this or that as you once did. 
Live the life that belongs to youth. Do not be 
afraid of being a boy or girl again in spirit, 
no matter how many years you have lived. 
Carry yourself so that you will not suggest 
old age in any of its phases. Remember it is 
the stale mind, the stale mentality, that ages 
the body. Keep growing, keep interested in 
everything about you. 

It has been shown that the conviction that 
one is going to die at about a certain time, a 
certain age, tends to bring about the expected 
dissolution by strangling the life processes. 

If you wish to retain your youth, forget 
unpleasant experiences, disagreeable inci- 
dents. A lady eighty years old was recently 
asked how she managed to keep herself so 
youthful. She replied : " I know how to for- 
get disagreeable things." 

No one can remain youthful who does not 
continue to grow, and no one can keep grow- 
ing who does not keep alive his interest in the 



WHY GROW OLD? 139 

great world about him. We are so constituted 
that we draw a large part of our nourishment 
from others. No man can isolate himself, can 
cut himself off from his fellows, without 
shrinking in his mental stature. The mind that 
is not constantly reaching out for the new, as 
well as keeping in touch with the old, soon 
reaches its limit of growth. 

Nothing else is easier than for a man to age. 
All he has to do is to think he is growing old ; 
to expect it, to fear it, and prepare for it; to 
compare himself with others of the same age 
who are prematurely old and to assume that 
he is like them. 

To think constantly of the " end," to plan 
for death, to prepare and provide for declin- 
ing years, is simply to acknowledge that your 
powers are waning, that you are losing your 
grip upon life. Such thinking tends to weaken 
your hold upon the life principle, and your 
body gradually corresponds with your con- 
viction. 

The very belief that our powers are waning ; 
the consciousness that we are losing strength, 
that our vitality is lessening; the conviction 
that old age is settling upon us and that our 
life forces are gradually ebbing away, has a 
blighting, shrivelling influence upon the mental 



140 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

faculties and functions ; the whole character 
deteriorates under this old-age belief. 

The result is that we do not use or develop 
the age-resisting forces within us. The refresh- 
ening, renewing, resisting powers of the body 
are so reduced and impaired by the conviction 
that we are getting on in years and cannot 
stand what we once could, that we become an 
easy prey to disease and all sorts of physical 
infirmities. 

The mental attitude has everything to do 
with the hastening or the retarding of the old- 
age condition. 

Dr. Metchnikoff, of the Pasteur Institute in 
Paris, says that men should live at least one 
hundred and twenty years. There is no doubt 
that, as a race, we shorten our lives very ma- 
terially through our false thinking, our bad 
living, and our old-age convictions. 

A few years ago the London Lancet, the 
highest medical authority in the world, gave 
a splendid illustration of the power of the mind 
to keep the body young. A young woman, de- 
serted by her lover, became insane. She lost 
all consciousness of the passing of time. She 
believed her lover would return, and for years 
she stood daily before her window watching 
for him. When over seventy years of age, 



WHY GROW OLD? 141 

some Americans, including physicians, who 
saw her, thought she was not over twenty. 
She did not have a single gray hair, and 
no wrinkles or other signs of age were vis- 
ible. Her skin was as fair and smooth as a 
young girl's. She did not age because she be- 
lieved she was still a girl. She did not count 
her birthdays or worry because she was get- 
ting along in years. She was thoroughly con- 
vinced that she was still living in the very time 
that her lover left her. This mental belief con- 
trolled her physical condition. She was just as 
old as she thought she zvas. Her conviction 
outpictured itself in her body and kept it 
youthful. 

It is an insult to your Creator that your brain 
should begin to ossify, that your mental pow- 
ers should begin to decline when you have 
only reached the half-century milestone. You 
ought then to be in your youth. What has the 
appearance of old age to do with youth ? What 
have gray hair, wrinkles, and other evidences 
of age to do with youth? Mental power 
should constantly increase. There should be no 
decline in years. Increasing wisdom and power 
should be the only signs that you have lived 
long, that you have been many years on this 
planet. Strength, beauty, magnificence, supe- 



142 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

riority, not weakness, uselessness, decrepitude, 
should characterize a man who has Uved long. 

As long as you hold the conviction that you 
are sixty, you will look it. Your thought will 
outpicture itself in your face, in your whole 
appearance. If you hold the old-age ideal, the 
old-age conviction, your expression must cor- 
respond. The body is the bulletin board of the 
mind. 

On the other hand, if you think of yourself 
as perpetually young, vigorous, robust, and 
buoyant, because every cell in the body is con- 
stantly being renewed, decrepitude will not 
get hold of you. 

If you would retain your youth, you must 
avoid the enemies of youth, and there are no 
greater enemies than the convictions of age 
and the gradual loss of interest in things, 
especially in youthful amusements and in the 
young life about you. When you are no 
longer interested in the hopes and ambitions 
of young people ; when you decHne to enter 
into their sports, to romp and play with chil- 
dren, you confess in effect that you are grow- 
ing old ; that you are beginning to harden ; 
that your youthful spirits are drying up, and 
that the juices of your younger days are 
evaporating. Nothing helps more to the per- 



WHY GROW OLD? 143 

petuation of youth than much association with 
the young. 

A man quite advanced in years was asked 
not long ago how he retained such a youthful 
appearance in spite of his age. He said that 
he had been the principal of a high school for 
over thirty years ; that he loved to enter into 
the life and sports of the young people and 
to be one of them in their ambitions and in- 
terests. This, he said, had kept his mind cen- 
tred on youth, progress, and abounding life, 
and the old-age thought had had no room for 
entrance. 

There is not even a suggestion of age in 
this man's conversation or ideas, and there is 
a life, a buoyancy about him which is won- 
derfully refreshing. 

There must be a constant activity in the 
mind that would not age. " Keep growing or 
die " is nature's motto, a motto written all 
over everything in the universe. 

Hold stoutly to the conviction that it is 
natural and right for you to remain young. 
Constantly repeat to yourself that it is wrong, 
wicked for you to grow old in appearance; 
that weakness and decrepitude could not have 
l)ecn in the Creator's plan for the man made 
in His image of perfection ; that it nuist have 



144 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

been acquired — the result of wrong race and 
individual training and thinking. 

Constantly affirm : " I am always well, al- 
ways young, I cannot grow old except by 
producing the old-age conditions through my 
thought. The Creator intended me for con- 
tinual growth, perpetual advancement and 
betterment, and I am not going to allow my- 
self to be cheated out of my birthright of 
perennial youth.'M 

No matter if people do say to you : " You 
are getting along in years," " You are begin- 
ning to show signs of age." Just deny these 
appearances. Say to yourself : " Principle does 
not age, Truth does not grow old. I am 
Principle. I am Truth." 

Never go to sleep with the old-age picture 
or thought in your mind. It is of the utmost 
importance to make yourself feel yovmg at 
night; to erase all signs, convictions, and 
feelings of age ; to throw aside every care and 
worry that would carve its image on your 
brain and express itself in your face. The 
worrying mind actually generates calcareous 
matter in the brain and hardens the cells. 

You should fall asleep holding those desires 
and ideals uppermost in the mind which are 
dearest to you ; which you are the most anxious 



WHY GROW OLD? 145 

to realize. As the mind continues to work 
during sleep, these desires and ideals are thus 
intensified and increased. It is well known that 
impure thoughts and desires work terrible 
havoc then. Purity of thought, loftiness of 
purpose, the highest possible aims, should 
dominate the mind when you fall asleep. 

When you first wake in the morning, espe- 
cially if you have reached middle life or later, 
picture the youthful qualities as vividly as pos- 
sible. Say to yourself : " I am young, always 
young — strong — buo}'ant. I cannot grow old 
and decrepit, because in the truth of my being 
I am divine, and Divine Principle cannot age. 
It is only the negative in me, the unreality, 
that can take on the appearance of age." 

The great thing is to make the mind cre- 
ate the youth pattern instead of the old-age 
pattern. As the sculptor follows the model 
which he holds in the mind, so the life proc- 
esses reproduce in the body the pattern which 
is in our thought, our conviction. 

We must get rid of the idea embedded in 
our very nature that the longer we live, the 
more experiences we have, the more work we 
do, the more inevitably we wear out and be- 
come old, decrepit, and useless. We must learn 
that living, acting, experiencing, should not 



146 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

exhaust life but create more life. It is a law 
that action increases force. Where, then, did 
the idea come from that man should wear 
out through action? 

C As a matter of fact. Nature has bestowed 
upon us perpetual youth, the power of per- 
petual renewal. There is not a single cell in 
our bodies that can possibly become old ; the 
body is constantly being made new through 
cell-renewal ; and as the cells of these parts of 
the body that are most active are renewed 
oftenest, it must follow that the age-producing 
process is largely artificial and unnatural. 

Physiologists tell us that the tissue cells of 
some muscles are renewed every few hours, 
others every few days or weeks. The cells of 
the bone tissues are slower of renewal, but 
some authorities estimate that eighty or ninety 
per cent of all the cells in the body of a person 
of ordinary activity are entirely renewed in 
from six to twelve months. 

Scientists have proved beyond question that 
the chemistry of the body has everything to 
do with the perpetuation of youthful condi- 
tions. Every discordant thought produces a 
chemical change in the cells, introducing for- 
eign substances and causing reaction which is 
injurious to the integrity of the cells. 



WHY GROW OLD? 147 

The impression of age is thus made upon 
new cells. This impression is the thought. If 
the thought is old, the age impress appears 
upon the cells. If the spirit of youth dominates 
the thought, the impression upon the cells is 
youthful. In other words, the processes which 
result in age cannot possibly operate except 
through the mind, and the billions of cells 
composing the body are instantly affected by 
every thought that passes through the brain. 

Putting old thoughts into a new set of cells 
is like putting old wine into new bottles. They 
don't agree ; they are natural enemies. The re- 
sult is that two-year-old cells are made to look 
fifty, sixty, or more years old, according to 
the thought. It is marvellous hozu quickly old 
thoughts can make new cells appear old. 

All discordant and antagonistic thought 
materially interferes with the laws of recon- 
struction and self-renewal going on in the 
body, and the great thing is, therefore, to form 
thought habits which will harmonize with this 
law of rejuvenation — perpetual renewal. 

Hard, selfish, worry, and fear thoughts, 
and vicious habits of all kinds, produce the 
appearance of age and hasten its coming. 

Pessimism is one of the worst enemies of 
youth. The pessimist ages prematurely be- 



148 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

cause his mind dwells upon the black, dis- 
cordant, and diseased side of things. The pes- 
simist does not progress, does not face toward 
youth ; he goes backward, and this retrogres- 
sion is fatal to youthful conditions. Brightness, 
cheerfulness, hopefulness characterize youth. 

Everything that is abnormal tends to pro- 
duce old-age conditions. No one can remain 
young, no matter to what expedients he may 
resort to enable him to erase the marks of 
age, who worries and indulges in excessive 
passion. The mental processes produce all 
sorts of things, good or bad, according to the 
pattern in the mind. 

Selfishness is abnormal and tends to harden 
and dry up the brain and nerve cells. We are 
so constituted that we must be good to be 
happy, and happiness spells youthfulness. 
Selfishness is an enemy of happiness because 
it violates the very fundamental principle of 
our being — justice, fairness. We protest 
against it, we instinctively despise and think 
less of ourselves for practising it. It does not 
tend to produce health, harmony, or a sense 
of well-being, because it does not harmonize 
with the fundamental principle of our being. 

With many people, old age is a perpetual 
horror, which destroys comfort and happiness 



WHY GROW OLD? 149 

and makes life a tragedy, which, but for it, 
might have been a perpetual joy. 

Many wealthy people do not really enjoy 
their possessions because of that awful con- 
sciousness that they may at any moment be 
forced to leave everything. 

Discordant thought of every kind tends to 
shorten life. 

As long as you think old, hard, grasping, 
envious thoughts, nothing in the world can 
keep you from growing old. As long as you 
harbor these enemies of youth, you cannot re- 
main in a youthful condition. New thoughts 
create new life ; old thoughts — canned, stereo- 
typed thoughts — are injurious to growth, and 
anything which stops growth helps the aging 
processes. 

Whatever thought dominates the mind at 
any time is constantly modifying, changing 
the life ideal, so that every suggestion that 
comes into the mind from any source is 
registered in the cell life, etched in the char- 
acter, and outpictured in the expression and 
appearance. If the ideal of continual youth, 
of a body in a state of perpetual rejuvenation, 
dominates the mind, it neutralizes the aging 
processes. All of the body follows the dominat- 
ing thought, motive and feeling, and takes on 



ISO PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

its expression. For example, a man who is 
constantly worrying, fretting, a victim of 
fear, cannot possibly help outpicturing this 
condition in his body. Nothing in the world 
can counteract this hardening, aging, ossify- 
ing process but a complete reversal of the 
thought, so that the opposite ideas dominate. 
The effect of the mind on the body is always 
absolutely scientific. It follows an inexorable 
law. 

There is a power of health latent in every 
cell of the body which would always keep 
the cell in harmony and preserve its integrity 
if the thought were right. This latent power 
of health in the cell can be so developed by 
right thinking and living as to retard very 
materially the aging processes. 

One of the most effective means of develop- 
ing it is to keep cheerful and optimistic. As 
long as the mind faces the sun of life it will 
cast no shadow before it. 

Hold ever before you, like a beacon light, 
the youth ideal — strength, buoyancy, hopeful- 
ness, expectancy. Hold persistently to the 
thought that your body is the last two years' 
product; that there may not be in it a single 
cell more than a year and a half old ; that it is 
constantly young because it is perpetually be- 



WHY GROW OLD? 151 

ing renewed and that, therefore, it ought to 
look fresh and youthful. 

Constantly say to yourself: "If Nature 
makes me a new body every few months, com- 
paratively, if the billions of tissue cells are 
being perpetually renewed, if the oldest of 
these cells are, perhaps, rarely, if ever, more 
than two years old, why should they appear 
to be sixty or seventy-five ? " A two-year-old 
cell could not look like a seventy-year-old cell 
of its own accord, but we know from experi- 
ence that the old-age conviction can make 
these youthful cells look very old. If the body 
is always young, it should always look young ; 
and it would if we did not make it look old 
by stamping old age upon it. We Americans 
seem very adept in putting the old-age stamp 
upon new tissue cells. Yet it is just as easy to 
form the youthful-thought habit as the old- 
age-thought habit. 

If you would keep young, you must learn 
the secret of self-rejuvenation, self-refresh- 
ment, self-renewal, in your thought, in your 
work. Hard thoughts, too serious thoughts, 
mental confusion, excitement, worry, anxiety, 
jealousy, the indulgence of explosive passions, 
all tend to shorten life. 

You will find a wonderful rejuvenating 



152 PEACE, PO\VER, AND PLENTY 

power in the cultivation of faith in the im- 
mortal Principle of health in every atom of 
your being. We are all conscious that there 
is something in us which is never sick and 
which never dies, something which connects 
us "with the Divine. There is a wonderful heal- 
ing influence in holding the consciousness of 
this great truth. 

Some people are so constituted that they 
perpetually renew themselves. They do not 
seem to get tired or weary of their tasks, be- 
cause their minds are constantly refreshing 
themselves. They are self-lubricators, self-re- 
newers. To keep from aging, we must keep 
the picture of youth in all its beauty and glory 
impressed upon the mind. It is impossible to 
appear youthful, to be young, unless we feel 
young. 

Without realizing it, most people are using 
the old-age thought as a chisel to cut a little 
deeper the wrinkles. Their old-age thought is 
stamping itself upon the new cells only a few 
months old, so that they very soon look to be 
forty, fifty, sixty, or seventy years old. 

Never allow yourself to think of yourself 
as growing old. Constantly affirm, if you feel 
yourself aging, " I am young because I am 
perpetually being renewed ; my life comes new 



WHY GROW OLD? 153 

every moment from the Infinite Source of life. 
I am new every morning and fresh every 
evening because I live, move, and have my 
being in Him who is the Source of all life." 
Not only affirm this mentally, but verbally 
when you can. Make this picture of perpetual 
renewal, constant refreshment, re-creation, so 
vivid, that you will feel the thrill of youthful 
renewal through your entire system. Under 
no circumstances allow the old-age thought 
and suggestion to remain in the mind. Re- 
member that it is what you feel, what you are 
convinced of, that will be outpictured in your 
body. If you think you are aging, if you walk, 
talk, dress, and act like an old person, these 
conditions will be outpictured in your expres- 
sion, face, manner, and body generally. 

Youthful thought should be a life habit. 

Cling to the thought that the truth of your 
being can never age, because it is Divine Prin- 
ciple. Picture the cells of the body being con- 
stantly made over. Hold this perpetual-re- 
newal picture in your mind, and the old-age 
thought, the old-age conviction will become 
inoperative. 

The new youth-thought habit will drive out 
the old-age-thought habit. If you can only feel 
your whole body being perpetually made over, 



154 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

constantly renewed, you will keep the body 
young, fresh. 

There is a tremendous youth - retaining 
power in holding high ideals and lofty senti- 
ments. The spirit cannot grow old while one 
is constantly aspiring to something better, 
higher, nobler. Employment which develops 
the higher self ; the frequent dwelHng upon 
lofty themes and high purposes — all are 
powerful preservatives of youth. It is senility 
of the soul that makes people old. 

The living of life should be a perpetual joy. 
Youth and joy are synonymous. If we do not 
enjoy life, if we do not feel that it is a de- 
light to be alive, if we do not look upon our 
work as a grand privilege, we shall age pre- 
maturely. 

Live always in a happy mental attitude. 
Live in the ideal, and the aging processes 
cannot get hold of you. It is the ideal that 
keeps one young. When we think of age, we 
think of weakness, decrepitude, imperfection; 
we do not think of wholeness, vigor. Every 
time you think of yourself make a vivid men- 
tal picture of your ideal self as the very pic- 
ture of youth, of health and vigor. Think 
health. Feel the spirit of youth and hope surg- 
ing through your body. Form the most per- 



- WHY GROW OLD? 155 

feet picture of physical manhood or woman- 
hood that is possible to the human mind. 

The elixir of youth which alchemists sought 
so long in chemicals, we find lies in ourselves. 
The secret is in our own mentality. Perpetual 
rejuvenation is possible only by right think- 
ing. We look as old as we think and feel be- 
cause it is thought and feeling that change 
our appearance. 

Let us put beauty into our lives by thinking 
beautiful thoughts, building beautiful ideals, 
and picturing beautiful things in our imagina- 
tion. 

I know of no remedy for old-age conditions 
so powerful as love — love for our work, love 
for our fellow-men, love for everything. 

It is the most powerful life-renewer, re- 
freshener, re-creator, known. Love awakens 
the noblest sentiments, the finest sensibilities, 
the most exquisite qualities in man. 

Try to find and live in the soul of things, 
to see the best in everybody. When you think 
of a person, hold in your mind the ideal of that 
person — that which God meant him to be — 
not the deformed, weak, ignorant creature 
which vice and wrong living may have made. 
This habit of refusing to see anything but the 
ideal will not only be a wonderful help to 



156 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

others, but also to yourself. Refuse to see 
deformity or weakness anywhere, but hold per- 
sistently your highest ideals. Other things be- 
ing equal, it is the cleanest, purest mind that 
lives longest. 

Harmony, peace, and serenity are absolutely 
necessary to perpetuate youthful conditions. 
All discord, all unbalanced mental operations, 
tend to produce aging conditions. The con- 
templation of the eternal verities enriches the 
ideals and freshens life because it destroys 
fear, uncertainty, and worry by adding assur- 
ance and certainty to life. 

Old-age conditions can only exist in cells 
which have become deteriorated and hardened 
by wrong thinking and vicious living. Unre- 
strained passion or fits of temper burn out the 
cells very rapidly. 

People who are very useful, who are doing 
their work grandly, growing vigorously, re- 
tain their youthful appearance. We can form 
the habit of staying young just as well as the 
habit of growing old. 

Increasing power and wisdom ought to be 
the only sign of our long continuance on this 
earth. We ought to do our best work after 
fifty, or even after sixty or seventy ; and if the 
brain is kept active, fresh, and young, and the 



WHY GROW OLD? 157 

brain cells are not ruined by too serious a life, 
by worry, fear, selfishness, or disease, the 
mind will constantly increase in vigor and 
power. 

If we are convinced that the life processes 
can perpetuate youth instead of age, they will 
obey the command. The fact that man's sin, 
his ignorance of true living, made the three- 
score years, with the possible addition of ten 
more, the average limit of life centuries ago, 
is no reason why any one in this man-emanci- 
pating age should narrow himself to this limit. 

An all-wise and benevolent Creator could 
not make us with such a great yearning for 
long life, a longing to remain young, with- 
out any possibility of realizing it. The very 
fact of this universal protest in all human be- 
ings against the enormous disproportion be- 
tween the magnitude of our mission upon earth 
and the shortness of the time and the meagre- 
ness of the opportunities for carrying it out ; 
the universal yearning for longevity ; and all 
analogy in the animal kingdom, all point to 
the fact that man was not only intended for a 
much longer life, but also for a much greater 
freedom from the present old-age weaknesses 
and handicaps. 

There is not the slightest indication in the 



158 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

marvellous mechanism of man that he was 
intended to become weak, crippled, and use- 
less after a comparatively few years. Instead, 
all the indications are toward progress into a 
larger, completer, fuller manhood, greater 
power. A dwarfed, weak, useless man was 
never in the Creator's plan. Retrogression is 
contrary to all principle and law. Progress, 
perpetual enlargement, growth, are the truth 
of man. The Creator never made anything for 
retrogression ; it is contrary to the very nature 
of Deity. '' Onward and upward " is written 
upon every atom in the universe. Imagine the 
Creator fashioning a man in his own likeness 
for only a few years of activity and growth, 
and then — retrogression, crippled helplessness ! 
There is nothing of God in this picture. What- 
ever the Deity makes bears the stamp of per- 
petual progress, everlasting growth. There is 
no going backward in his plans, everything 
moves forward to one eternal divine purpose. 
A decrepit, helpless old man or woman is a 
burlesque of the human being God made. His 
image does not deteriorate or go backward, but 
moves forever onward, eternally upward. If 
human beings could only once grasp this idea, 
that the reality of them is divine, and that 
divinity does not go backward or grow old. 



WHY GROW OLD? 159 

they would lose all sense of fear and worry, 
all enemies of their progress and happiness 
would slink away, and the aging processes 
would cease. 

The coming man will not grow old. Per- 
petual youth is his destiny. 
{'The time will come when people will look 
upon old age as an unreality, a negative, a 
mere phantom of the real man. The rose that 
fades is not the real rose. The real rose is the 
ideal — the idea which pushes out a new one 
every time we pluck the one that fades. 

The real man is God's ideal, and in the light 
of the new day that is dawning man will 
glimpse that perfect ideal. He will know the 
truth, and the truth will make him free. In 
that new day he will cast from him the ham- 
pering, age-worn vestures woven in the 
thought-loom of mankind through the cen- 
turies, and stand erect — the perfect being, the 
ideal man. 



X. THE MIRACLE OF SELF- 
CONFIDENCE 



X. THE MIRACLE OF SELF- 
CONFIDENCE 



If there be a faith that can remove mountains, it is 
faith in one's own power.— Marie Ebister-Eschen- 

BACH. 

"Instead of being the victims of fate, we can alter our 
fate, and largely determine what it shall be." 

"Your ideal is a prophecy of what you shall at last 
unveil." 

HY," asked Mirabeau, "should 
we call ourselves men, unless 
it be to succeed in everything 
everywhere ? " Nothing else 
will so nerve you to accom- 
plish great things as to be- 
lieve in your own greatness, 
in your own marvellous possibilities. Count 
that man an enemy who shakes your faith in 
yourself, in your ability to do the thing you 
have set your heart upon doing, for when 
your confidence is gone, your power is gone. 
Your achievement will never rise higher than 
your self- faith. It would be as reasonable for 
Napoleon to have expected to get his army 
over the Alps by sitting down and declaring 
that the undertaking was too great for him, 
as for you to hope to achieve anything sig- 

163 




i64 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

nificant in life while harboring grave doubts 
and fears as to your ability. 

The miracles of civilization have been per- 
formed by men and women of great self-con- 
fidence, who had unwavering faith in their 
power to accomplish the tasks they undertook. 
The race would have been centuries behind 
what it is to-day had it not been for their grit, 
their determination, their persistence in find- 
ing and making real the thing they believed 
in and which the world often denounced as 
chimerical or impossible. 

There is no law by which you can achieve 
success in anything without expecting it, de- 
manding it, assuming it. There must be a 
strong, firm self -faith first, or the thing will 
never come. There is no room for chance in 
God's world of system and supreme order. 
Everything must have not only a cause, but 
a sufficient cause — a cause as large as the 
result. A stream cannot rise higher than its 
source. A great success must have a great 
source in expectation, in self-confidence, and 
in persistent endeavor to attain it. No matter 
how great the ability, how large the genius, 
or how splendid the education, the achieve- 
ment will never rise higher than the con- 
fidence. He can who thinks he can, and he 



SELF-CONFIDENXE 165 

can't who thinks he can't. This is an inexor- 
able, indisputable law. 

' "It does not matter what other people think 
/^of you, of your plans, or of your aims. No 
^matter if they call you a visionary, a crank, 
or a dreamer; you must believe in yourself. 
You forsake yourself when you lose your con- 
fidence. Never allow anybody or any misfor- 
tune to shake your belief in yourself. You may 
lose your property, your health, your reputa- 
tion, other peoples' confidence, even ; but there 
is always hope for you so long as you keep 
a firm faith in yourself. If you never lose that, 
but keep pushing on, the world will, sooner or 
later, make way for you. 

A soldier once took a message to Napoleon 
in such great haste that the horse he rode 
dropped dead before he delivered the paper. 
Napoleon dictated his answer and, handing it 
to the messenger, ordered him to mount his 
own horse and deliver it with all possible 
speed. 

The messenger looked at the magnificent 
animal, with its superb trappings, and said, 
" Nay, General, but this is too gorgeous, too 
magnificent for a common soldier." 

Napoleon said, " Nothing is too good or too 
magnificent for a French soldier." 



i66 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

The world is full of people like this poor 
French soldier, who think that what others 
have is too good for them ; that it does not 
fit their humble condition; that they are not 
expected to have as good things as those who 
are " more favored." They do not realize how 
they weaken themselves by this mental attitude 
of self-depreciation or self-effacement. They 
do not claim enough, expect enough, or de- 
mand enough of themselves. 

You will never become a giant if you only 
make a pygmy's claim for yourself; if you 
only expect a pygmy's part. There is no law 
which can cause a pygmy's thinking to pro- 
duce a giant. The statue follows the model. 
The model is the inward vision. 

Most people have been educated to think 
that it was not intended they should have the 
best there is in the world ; that the good and 
the beautiful things of life were not designed 
for them, but were reserved for those espe- 
cially favored by fortune. They have grown 
up under this conviction of their inferiority, 
and of course they will be inferior until they 
claim superiority as their birthright. A vast 
number of men and women who are really 
capable of doing great things, do small things, 
live mediocre lives, because they do not expect 



SELF-CONFIDENCE 167 

or demand enough of themselves. They do not 
know how to call out their best. 

One reason why the hviman race as a whole 
has not measured up to its possibilities, to its 
promise ; one reason why we see everywhere 
splendid ability doing the work of mediocrity ; 
is because people do not think half enough of 
themselves. We do not realise our divinity; 
that -cve are a part of the great causation prin- 
ciple of the universe. 

We do not think highly enough of our 
superb birthright, nor comprehend to what 
heights of sublimity we were intended and 
expected to rise, nor to what extent we can 
really be masters of ourselves. We fail to see 
that we can control our own destiny ; make 
ourselves do whatever is possible ; make our- 
selves become whatever we long to be. 

"If we choose to be no more than clods of 
clay," says Marie Corelli, " then we shall be 
used as clods of clay for braver feet to tread 
on." 

The persistent thought that you are not as 
good as others, that you are a weak, ineffect- 
ive being, will lower your whole standard of 
life and paralyze your ability. 

A man who is self-reliant, positive, optimis- 
tic, and undertakes his work with the as- 



i68 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

surance of success, magnetizes conditions. He 
draws to himself the literal fulfillment of the 
promise, " For unto every one that hath shall 
be given, and he shall have abundance." 

There is everything in assuming the part 
we wish to play, and playing it royally. If you 
are ambitious to do big things, you must make 
a large programme for yourself, and assume 
the part it demands. 

There is something in the atmosphere of 
the man who has a large and true estimate of 
himself, who believes that he is going to win 
out ; something in his very appearance that 
wins half the battle before a blow is struck. 
Things get out of the way of the vigorous, 
affirmative man, which are always tripping the 
self-depreciating, negative man. 

We often hear it said of a man, " Every- 
thing he undertakes succeeds," or " Every- 
thing he touches turns to gold." By the force 
of his character and the creative power of his 
thought, such a man wrings success from the 
most adverse circumstances. Confidence be- 
gets confidence. A man who carries in his very 
presence an air of victory, radiates assurance, 
and imparts to others confidence that he can 
do the thing he attempts. As time goes on, he 
is reenforced not only by the power of his own 



SELF-CONFIDENCE 169 

thought, but also by that of all who know him. 
His friends and acquaintances affirm and re- 
affirm his ability to succeed, and make each 
successive triumph easier of achievement than 
its predecessor. His self-poise, assurance, con- 
fidence and ability increase in a direct ratio 
to the number of his achievements. As the 
savage Indian thought that the power of every 
enemy he conquered entered into himself, so 
in reality does every conquest in war, in peace- 
ful industry, in commerce, in invention, in 
science, or in art add to the conqueror's power 
to do the next thing. 

Set the mind toward the thing you would 
accomplish so resolutely, so definitely, and with 
such vigorous determination, and put so much 
grit into your resolution, that nothing on earth 
can turn you from your purpose until you 
attain it. 

This very assertion of superiority, the as- 
sumption of power, the affirmation of belief 
in yourself, the mental attitude that claims 
success as an inalienable birthright, will 
strengthen the whole man and give power to 
a combination of faculties which doubt, fear, 
and a lack of confidence undermine. 

Confidence is the Napoleon of the mental 
army. It doubles and trebles the power of all 



I70 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

the other faculties. The whole mental army 
waits until confidence leads the way. 

Even a race horse cannot win the prize after 
it has once lost confidence in itself. Courage, 
born of self-confidence, is the prod which 
brings out the last ounce of reserve force. 

The reason why so many men fail is be- 
cause they do not commit themselves with a 
determination to win at any cost. They do not 
have that superb confidence in themselves 
which never looks back; which burns all 
bridges behind it. There is just uncertainty 
enough as to whether they will succeed to take 
the edge off their effort, and it is just this 
little difference between doing pretty well and 
flinging all oneself, all his power, into his 
career, that makes the difference between 
mediocrity and a grand achievement. 

If you doubt your ability to do what you set 
out to do ; if you think that others are better 
fitted to do it than you ; if you fear to let your- 
self out and take chances ; if you lack bold- 
ness ; if you have a timid, shrinking nature ; 
if the negatives preponderate in your vocabu- 
lary ; if you think that you lack positiveness, 
initiative, aggressiveness, ability; you can 
never win anything very great until you 
change your whole mental attitude and learn 



SELF-CONFIDENCE 171 

to have great faith in yourself. Fear, doubt, 
and timidity must be turned out of your mind. ^ 

Your own mental picture of yourself is a '"' 
good measure of yourself and your possibih- 
ties. If there is no out-reach to your mind, no 
spirit of daring, no firm self-faith, you will 
never acccJmplish much. 

A man's confidence measures the height of 
his possibilities. A stream cannot rise higher 
than its fountain head. 

Power is largely a question of strong, 
vigorous, perpetual thinking along the line of 
the ambition, parallel with the aim — the great 
life purpose. Here is where potver originates. 

The deed must first live in the thought or it 
will never be a reality ; and a strong, vigorous 
concept of the thing we want to do is a tre- 
mendous initial step. A thought that is timidly 
born will be timidly executed. There must be 
vigor of conception or an indifferent execu- 
tion. 

All the greatest achievements in the world 
began in longing — in dreamings and hopings 
which for a time were nursed in despair, with 
no light in sight. This longing kept the cour- 
age up and made self-sacrifice easier until 
the thing dreamed of — the mental vision — was 
realized. 



172 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

" According to your faith be it unto you." 
Our faith is a very good measure of what we 
get out of Hfe. The man of weak faith gets 
little ; the man of mighty faith gets much. 

The very intensity of your confidence in 
your ability to do the thing you attempt, is 
definitely related to the degree of your achieve- 
ment. 

If we were to analyze the marvellous suc- 
cesses of many of our self-made men, we 
should find that when they first started out in 
active life they held the confident, vigorous, 
persistent thought of and belief in their ability 
to accomplish what they had undertaken. 
Their mental attitude was set so stubbornly 
toward their goal that the doubts and fears 
which dog and hinder and frighten the man 
who holds a low estimate of himself, who asks, 
demands, and expects but little, of or for him- 
self, got out of their path, and the world made 
way for them. 

We are very apt to think of men who have 
been unusually successful in any line as great- 
ly favored by fortune; and we try to account 
for it in all sorts of ways but the right one. The 
fact is tliat their success represents their ex- 
pectations of themselves — the sum of their 
creative, positive, habitual thinking. It is their 



SELF-CONFIDENCE 173 

mental attitude outpictured and made tangible 
in their environment. They have wrought — 
created — what they have and what they are 
out of their constructive thought and their un- 
quenchable faith in themselves. 

We must not only believe we can succeed, 
but we must believe it with all our hearts. 

We must have a positive conviction that we 
can attain success. 

No lukewarm energy or indifferent ambi- 
tion ever accomplished anything. There must 
be vigor in our expectation, in our faith, in 
our determination, in our endeavor. We must 
resolve with the energy that does things. 

Not only must the desire for the thing we 
long for be kept uppermost, but there must 
be strongly concentrated intensity of effort to 
attain our object. 

As it is the fierceness of the heat that melts 
the iron ore and makes it possible to weld it 
or mold it into shape ; as it is the intensity 
of the electrical force that dissolves the dia- 
mond — the hardest known substance; so it is 
the concentrated aim, the invincible purpose, 
that wins success. Nothing was ever accom- 
plished by a half-hearted desire. 

Many people make a very poor showing in 
life, because there is no vim, no vigor in their 



174 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

efforts. Their resolutions are spineless ; there 
is no backbone in their endeavor — no grit in 
their ambition. 

One must have that determination which 
never looks back and which knows no defeat ; 
that resolution which burns all bridges behind 
it and is willing to risk everything upon the 
effort. When a man ceases to believe in him- 
self — gives up the fight — you cannot do much 
for him except to try to restore what he has 
lost — his self-faith — and to get out of his head 
the idea that there is a fate which tosses him 
hither and thither, a mysterious destiny which 
decides things whether he will or not. You 
cannot do much with him until he compre- 
hends that he is bigger than any fate ; that he 
has within himself a power mightier than any 
force outside of him. 

One reason why the careers of most of us 
are so pinched and narrow, is because we do 
not have a large faith in ourselves and in our 
power to accomplish. We are held back by 
too much caution. We are timid about ventur- 
ing. We are not bold enough. 

Whatever we long for, yearn for, struggle 
for, and hold persistently in the mind, we tend 
to become just in exact proportion to the in- 
tensity and persistence of the thought. We 



SELF-CONFIDENCE 175 

think ourselves into smallness, into inferiority 
by thinking downward. We ought to think up- 
ward, then we would reach the heights where 
superiority dwells. The man whose mind is 
set firmly toward achievement does not appro- 
priate success, he is success. 

Self-confidence is not egotism. It is knowl- 
edge, and it comes from the consciousness of 
possessing the ability requisite for what one 
undertakes. Civilization to-day rests upon self- 
confidence. 

A firm self-faith helps a man to project 
himself with a force that is almost irresistible. 
A balancer, a doubter, has no projectile power. 
If he starts at all, he moves with uncertainty. 
There is no vigor in his initiative, no positive- 
ness in his energy. 

There is a great difference between a man 
who thinks that " perhaps " he can do, or who 
" will try " to do a thing, and a man who 
" knows " he can do it, who is " bound " to 
do it ; who feels within himself a pulsating 
power, an irresistible force, equal to any 
emergency. 

This difference between uncertainty and 
certainty, between vacillation and decision, 
between the man who wavers and the man 
who decides things, between " I hope to " and 



176 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

" I can," between " I'll try " and " I will "— 
this little difference measures the distance be- 
tween weakness and power, between medioc- 
rity and excellence, between commonness and 
superiority. 

The man who does things must be able to 
project himself with a mighty force, to fling 
the whole weight of his being into his work, 
ever gathering momentum against the obstacles 
which confront him ; every issue must be met 
wholly, unhesitatingly. He cannot do this with 
a wavering, doubting, unstable mind. 

The fact that a man believes implicitly that 
he can do what may seem impossible or very 
difiicult to others, shows that there is some- 
thing within him that makes him equal to the 
work he has undertaken. 

Faith unites man with the Infinite, and no 
one can accomplish great things in life unless 
he works in oneness with the Infinite. When 
a man lives so near to the Supreme that the 
divine Presence is felt all the time, then he 
is in a position to express power. 

There is nothing which will multiply one's 
ability like self-faith. It can make a one-talent 
man a success, while a ten-talent man without 
it would fail. 

Faith walks on the mountain tops, hence its 



SELF-CONFIDENCE 177 

superior vision. It sees what is invisible to 
those who follow. 

It was the sustaining power of a mighty 
self-faith that enabled Columbus to bear the 
jeers and imputations of the Spanish cabinet; 
that sustained him when his sailors were in 
mutiny and he was at their mercy in a little 
vessel on an unknown sea; that enabled him 
to hold steadily to his purpose, entering in his 
diary day after day — " This day we sailed 
west, which was our course." 

It was this self- faith which gave courage and 
determination to Fulton to attempt his first trip 
up the Hudson in the Clermont, before thou- 
sands of his fellow citizens, who had gath- 
ered to howl and jeer at his expected fail- 
ure. He believed he could do the thing he 
attempted though the whole world was against 
him. 

What miracles self-confidence has wrought! 
What impossible deeds it has helped to per- 
form ! It took Dewey past cannons, torpedoes, 
and mines to victory at Manila Bay ; it carried 
Farragut, lashed to the rigging, past the de- 
fenses of the enemy in Mobile Bay ; it led 
Nelson and Grant to victory ; it has been 
the great tonic in the world of invention, 
discovery, and art; it has won a thousand 



178 , PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

triumphs in war and science which were 
deemed impossible by doubters and the faint- 
hearted. 

Self-faith has been the miracle-worker of 
the ages. It has enabled the inventor and the 
discoverer to go on and on amidst troubles 
and trials which otherwise would have utterly 
disheartened them. It has held innumerable 
heroes to their tasks until the glorious deeds 
were accomplished. 

The only inferiority in us is what we put 
into ourselves. If only we better understood 
our divinity we should all have this larger 
faith which is the distinction of the brave soul. 
We think ourselves into smallness. Were we 
to think upward we should reach the heights 
where superiority dwells. 

Perhaps there is no other one thing which 
keeps so many people back as their low es- 
timate of themselves. They are more handi- 
capped by their limiting thought, by their 
foolish convictions of inefficiency, than by al- 
most anything else, for there is no power in 
the universe that can help a man do a thing 
zvhen he thinks he cannot do it. Self-faith 
must lead the way. You cannot go beyond the 
limits you set for yourself. 

It is one of the most diMcult things to a 



SELF-CONFIDENCE 179 

mortal to really believe in his own bigness, in 
his own grandeur; to believe that his yearn- 
ings and hungerings and aspirations for 
higher, nobler things have any basis in reality 
or any real, ultimate end. But they are, in fact, 
the signs of ability to match them, of power to 
make them real. They are the stirrings of the 
divinity within us ; the call to something bet- 
ter, to go higher. 

No man gets very far in the world or ex- 
presses great power until self-faith is born in 
him ; until he catches a glimpse of his higher, 
nobler self ; until he realizes that his ambition, 
his aspiration, are proofs of his ability to 
reach the ideal which haunts him. The Creator 
would not have mocked us with the yearning 
for infinite achievement without giving us the 
ability and the opportunity for realizing it, 
any more than he would have mocked the wild 
birds with an instinct to fly south in the winter 
without giving them a sunny South to match 
the instinct. 

The cause of whatever comes to you in life 
is within you. There is where it is created. 
The thing you long for and work for comes 
to you because your thought has created it ; 
because there is something inside you that 
attracts it. It comes because there is an affinity 



i8o PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

within you for it. Your ozvn comes to you; is 
always seeking you. 

Whenever you see a person who has been 
unusually successful in any field, remember 
that he has usually thought himself into his 
position ; his mental attitude and energy have 
created it ; what he stands for in his commu- 
nity has come from his attitude toward life, 
toward his fellow men, toward his vocation, 
toward himself. Above all else, it is the out- 
come of his self-faith, of his inward vision 
of himself; the result of his estimate of his 
powers and possibilities. 

The men who have done the great things 
in the world have been profound believers in 
themselves. 

If I could give the young people of America 
but one word of advice, it would be this — 
" Believe in yourself with all your might." 
That is, believe that your destiny is inside of 
you, that there is a power within you which, 
if awakened, aroused, developed, and matched 
with honest effort, will not only make a noble 
man or woman of you, but will also make you 
successful and happy. 

All through the Bilile we find emphasized 
the miracle-working power of faith. Faith in 
himself indicates that a man has a glimpse of 



SELF-CONFIDENCE i8i 

forces within him which either annihilate the 
obstacles in the way, or make them seem 
insignificant in comparison with his ability to 
overcome them. 

Faith opens the door that enables us to look 
into the soul's limitless possibilities and re- 
veals such powers there, such unconquerable 
forces, that we are not only encouraged to go 
on, but feel a great consciousness of added 
power because we have touched omnipotence, 
have a glimpse of the great source of things. 

Faith is that something within us which 
does not guess, but knows. It knows because 
it sees what our coarser selves, our animal 
natures cannot see. It is the prophet within 
us, the divine messenger appointed to accom- 
pany man through life to guide and direct 
and encourage him. It gives him a glimpse of 
his possibilities to keep him from losing heart, 
from quitting his upward life struggle. 

Our faith knows because it sees what we 
cannot see. It sees resources, powers, poten- 
cies which our doubts and fears veil from us. 
Faith is assured, is never afraid, because it 
sees the way out ; sees the solution of its 
problem. It has dipped in the realms of our 
finer life, our higher and diviner kingdom. All 
things are possible to him who has faith, be- 



i82 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

cause faith sees, recognizes the power that 
means accomplishment. 

If we had faith in God and in ourselves we 
could remove all mountains of difficulty, and 
our lives would be one triumphal march to 
the goal of our ambition. 

If we had faith enough we could cure all 
our ills and accomplish the maximum of our 
possibilities. 

Faith never fails ; it is a miracle worker. It 
looks be)'ond all boundaries, transcends all 
limitations, penetrates all obstacles and sees 
the goal. 

It is doubt and fear, timidity and cowardice, 
that hold us down and keep us in mediocrity 
— doing petty things when we are capable of 
sublime deeds. 

If we had faith enough we should travel 
Godward infinitely faster than we do. 

The time will come when every human 
being will have unbounded faith and will live 
the life triumphant. Then there will be no 
poverty in the world, no failures, and the dis- 
cords of life will all vanish. 



XI. AFFIRMATION AND AUDIBLE 
SUGGESTION 



XI. AFFIRMATION AND AUDIBLE 
SUGGESTION. 



Look out for the man who dares assert the "I." 
" What I can do, I ought to do. 
What I ought to do, I can do. 
What I can and ought to do, 
By the grace of God I will do." 




HAVE promised my God 
that I will do it." 

Who can estimate the tre- 
mendous, buttressing power 
which reenforced Lincoln 
when on the 22d of Septem- 
ber, 1862, he resolved upon 
the Emancipation Proclamation, and entered 
this solemn vow in his diary : " I have prom- 
ised my God that I will do it." 

Up to this time doubt, uncertainty, his nat- 
ural precaution, had influenced him and kept 
him from coming to a decision ; but now he 
solemnly resolved to burn all bridges behind 
him and henceforth to dedicate himself to the 
accomplishment of this great purpose. 

After the false report that Dreyfus had 
escaped from Devil's Island, his guards were 
doubled, and he was chained to a plank every 
night with heavy irons, until his legs were so 

185 



i86 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

chafed that they became bloody and gangre- 
nous. The wretched prisoner thought his jail- 
ers had orders to torture him to death, but he 
doggedly and persistently repeated to himself : 
" I will live ! I will live ! " Who can doubt that 
• — conscious as he was of his innocence — this 
vehement affirmation, in conjunction with the 
man's almost superhuman will-power, had 
much to do with his survival of the revolting 
cruelty to which he was subjected in his island 
prison. 

Few people realize the force that exists in a 
vigorous, perpetual affirmation of the thing 
we long to be or are determined to accomplish. 
Great things are done under the stress of an 
overmastering conviction of one's ability to 
do what he undertakes ; under the tremendous 
power of the affirmative, expressed with un- 
flinching determination. The very intensity of 
your affirmation of confidence in your ability 
to do what you attempt is definitely related to 
the degree of your achievement. We need 
great projectile power. It is easier to force a 
huge shell through the steel plates of a ship 
when projected with lightning speed from the 
cannon than to push it through slowly. 

People who always say " God willing," or 
" If Providence so wills," they will do this 



AFFIRMATION 187 

or that, little realize how the doubt expressed 
by the " if " takes the edge from their positive- 
ness, and tends to produce negative minds. If 
the Creator has given a man the inclination 
and the power to do a thing that is right and 
good He is always willing that he should 
do it. 

Yet I know a man — and there are thousands 
like him — who says that he never makes a 
positive statement of what he is going to do, 
because it would be questioning the will of 
God — a reflection upon the Deity. 

There is no one thing which will give a 
timid soul such assurance, which will so brace 
up one who is inclined to depreciate and efface 
himself, as the constant afiirmation of the " I 
am." " I am courage ; I am health, vigor, 
strength ; I am power ; I am peace ; I am 
plenty ; I am a part of abundance, because I 
am one with the very Source of Infinite Sup- 
ply. I am rich, because I am heir to all the 
resources of the universe." 

Stoutly, constantly, everlastingly afiirm that 
you will become what your ambitions indicate 
as fitting and possible. Do not say " I shall be 
a success sometime " ; say, " I am a success. 
Success is my birthright." Do not say that you 
are going to be happy in the future. Say to 



i88 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

yourself, " I was intended for happiness, made 
for it, and I am happy." 

The habit of claiming as our own, as a vivid 
reality that which zve desire, has a tremendous 
magnetic power. The constant vigorous as- 
sertion of " I am health ; I am vigor ; I am 
power; I am principle; I am truth; I am 
justice; I am beauty; because made in the 
image of perfection, of harmony, of truth, of 
justice, of immortal beauty" — tends to the 
manifestation of these things in our lives. 

" I am that which I think I am — and I can 
be nothing else." The man immersed in ma- 
terial things and who lives only to make 
money, believes he can make it; knows that 
he can make it. He does not say to himself 
every morning, " Well, I do not know whether 
I can make anything to-day. I will try. I may 
succeed and I may not," He simply and posi- 
tively asserts that he can do what he desires 
and then starts out to put into operation plans 
and forces which will bring it about. 

If you affirm " I am health ; I am prosperity ; 
I am this or that," but do not believe it, you 
will not be helped by affirmation. You must 
believe what you affirm. 

Few people realize the tremendous creative 
power there is in stout self-assertion; in the 



AFFIRMATION 189 

vigorous affirmation of the ego, the " I," the 
" I am." But those who have once properly 
put it in practice never again doubt its ef- 
ficacy. 

A prominent music master in New York 
who trains opera singers advised a girl with 
great musical ability, but with deficient self- 
confidence and self-assertion, to stand before 
a mirror every day and, assuming a mag- 
nificent pose, say to herself, " I, I, I," with all 
the emphasis and power she could muster. He 
told her to assert herself and to think of her- 
self as a prima donna of great power ; that 
by constantly assuming the part, playing the 
role, she would acquire the habit of self-con- 
fidence, which would be worth everything to 
her. " Imagine that you are Nordica or Patti," 
he said. " Assume that part boldly and fear- 
lessly — and hold yourself with a dignity and 
power corresponding with the character." 
This advice, which she followed literally, was 
worth more to this timid girl than scores of 
music lessons. The practice in it increased her 
confidence in herself wonderfully, and she 
was soon cured of her shyness and timidity. 

Audible self-suggestion, which is merely a 
continuation or extension of the affirmation 
principle, is one of the greatest aids to self- 



igo PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

development. This form of suggestion — talk- 
ing to oneself vigorously, earnestly — seems to 
arouse the sleeping forces in the subconscious 
self even more effectually than thinking the 
same thing. We all know how we are strength- 
ened by the vigorous affirmation of our de- 
termination to do this or to do that. We know 
the virtue in a robust determination backed 
by the vigorously spoken resolve. These are 
but other forms of arousing in our subcon- 
scious selves latent powers which, when under- 
stood and developed, will do wonders for us. 
There is a force in words spoken aloud 
which is not stirred by going over the same 
words mentally. They sometimes arouse slum- 
bering energies within us which thinking does 
not stir up — especially if we have not been 
trained to think deeply ; to focus the mind 
closely. They make a more lasting impression 
upon the mind — just as words which pass 
through the eye from the printed page make 
a greater impression on the brain than we get 
by thinking the same words ; as seeing objects 
of nature makes a more lasting impression 
upon the mind than thinking about them. A 
vividness, a certain force, accompanies the spo- 
ken word — especially if earnestly, vehemently 
uttered — which is not apparent to many in 



AFFIRMATION 191 

merely thinking- about what words express. 
If you repeat to yourself aloud, vigorously, 
even vehemently, a firm resolve, you are more 
likely to carry it to reality than if you merely 
resolve in silence. 

We become so accustomed to our silent 
thoughts that the voicing of them, the giving 
audible expression to our yearnings, makes 
a much deeper impression upon us. 

The audible self-encouragement treatment 
may be used with marvellous results in cor- 
recting our weaknesses; overcoming our de- 
ficiencies. 

A remarkably successful friend of mine says 
that he has been wonderfully helped by talk- 
ing to himself about his faults and short- 
comings. " Heart-to-heart talks " with himself 
he calls these little exhortations. 

If he thinks his ambition is lagging, he gives 
himself a mental exercise which tends to 
sharpen and improve it. If he thinks his 
standards are lowering, he braces up his ideal 
by perpetually affirming his ability to do better 
and to climb higher every day. 

He says that he starts out every morning 
with the determination that he is going to be 
a bigger man at ni.^ht than he was in the 
morning ; that he is going to stand for more ; 



192 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

that he is going to carry more weight in his 
community. He talks to himself about his 
failures of the day before and about his pro- 
gramme for the day, while he is dressing in 
the morning, something after this fashion : 

" Now, John, you lost your temper yester- 
day ; you went all to pieces over a mistake that 
some one made in the office ; you made a fool 
of yourself, so that your employees thought 
less of you than before, and it totally unfitted 
your mind for doing the large things that 
were clamoring for your attention. Don't 
make that mistake to-day. You are a pretty 
small man if you cannot rise above the petty 
details which confuse and block shallow minds. 
If you cannot rise above the trivial details of 
your office you are not a leader." 

One of his great weaknesses was that of 
indecision. He had a perfect horror of settling 
an important thing so that it could not be 
reopened for consideration. He would always 
leave things until the last minute — his letters 
unsealed, papers unsigned, contracts open, 
until he was actually forced to close them, for 
fear he might want to reconsider his decisions. 

He tells me that he finally overcame this 
weakness by constantly telling himself how 
foolish it was; how this vacillating habit 



AFFIRMATION 193 

would handicap his whole career, and how all 
men of executive abiUty — men who do great 
things — are characterized by their quick, 
strong decisions. 

It does not matter what the fault is — 
whether it is the habit of dawdling, of being 
late in keeping appointments, of losing his 
temper, of being fractious and unreasonable 
with his employees — whatever it may be, he 
talks himself out of it. In his talks, he calls 
himself by name, and carries a picture of his 
other, better, diviner self in his mind ; persist- 
ently holding before himself the image of the 
man he wants to be, longs to be, and constantly 
affirms his ability to be. He says that nothing 
else has done half as much for him as this 
habit of talking things over with himself. 

Another young man in New York recently 
told me that he tries to walk through Central 
Park every morning on his way to business 
in order to get a chance to talk to himself 
alone. During these talks, he tells himself that, 
let what will come during the day, he must 
not lose his self-control ; he must be a gentle- 
man under all circumstances ; that he must 
not allow worry, anxiety, or unfortunate 
moods to waste his energy, but must work it 
all up into effectiveness. 



194 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

He says that this self " jacking-np " — as he 
calls it — this self-tuning in the morning, not 
only helps him to get a larger efficiency into 
his day's work, but also to do the work with 
much less wear and tear. It is a tremendous 
tonic. It stimulates him to better and better 
work. Since he has adopted the self-com- 
muning, self-bracing habit, he has gone ahead 
by leaps and bounds. 

Every man would be helped as these young 
men have been by the habit of talking to him- 
self just as though he were another person 
in whom he was very much interested and to 
whom he was giving his best advice. 

Whenever you can do so, it is a good plan 
to get so far away from others that you will 
not be conscious of their presence, and then 
go through your resolutions verbally — with 
vehemence, if necessary. You will soon be 
surprised to find how much better they will 
stick in your consciousness, and how much 
more likely you are to follow your own advice 
when you give it orally. 

If you have some vicious habit which is 
keeping you back, sapping the life out of you, 
you will be greatly strengthened in your power 
to overcome it by constantly saying to your- 
self, " I know this thing (calling it by name) 



AFFIR^IATION 195 

is destroying my vitality. I am not so vigor- 
ous ; so robust physically and mentally ; I am 
not so efficient as I should be ; I do not think 
so clearly, I cannot control my mind so well 
as I could were I not hampered by this weak- 
ness. 

" The paralyzing habit is placing me at a 
great disadvantage in life ; it is holding me up 
to ridicule, to unfavorable comparison with 
others. I know that I have more ability than 
many of those about me who are accomplish- 
ing a great deal more. Now, I am going to 
conquer this thing which is destroying my 
prospects. I am going to get freedom for my- 
self at any cost." 

If your sin is immorality say to yourself: 
" Nothing will blacken my soul quicker than 
this. I am ruining my chances of future hap- 
piness. This cursed thing is an insult to my 
ideal of womanhood, an insult to my future 
wife, a crime to my future children. There is 
no other thing which will so deteriorate my 
manhood, which will so honeycomb my very 
character and destroy my self-respect as this 
damnable thing. I hereby take a sacred oath 
never to repeat that which will lessen my 
chances in life, that which will make me think 
less of myself. I despise the thing which will 



196 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

keep me back in life, which will tend to make 
me a failure and anything less than a man. I 
will not take the risk of indulging a little lon- 
ger with the hope that something may help me 
break the habit, or that something will assist 
me to get strength later, because I know that 
every indulgence in the vicious habit binds me 
more strongly to it, and makes my chance of 
breaking away so much less.'" 

Just talk to yourself in this way whenever 
alone and you will be surprised to see how 
quickly the audible suggestion will weaken the 
grip of the vicious habit. In a short time your 
self-talks will so strengthen your will power 
that you will be able to entirely eradicate your 
weakness. 

But you must be very positive in the affirma- 
tion of your ability to overcome it. If you sim- 
ply say to yourself, " I know that this thing 
is bad for me; I know that if I continue to 
drink, or to smoke cigarettes, or to practice 
immorality, it will interfere with my success, 
but I do not believe I shall ever be able to 
overcome it ; it has gotten such a hold on me 
that I cannot give it up " — you will never 
make any headway. 

Always stoutly afUrm your ability to con- 
quer. Say to yourself, " I was not made to be 



AFFIRMATION 197 

dominated by a vice, a weed, or an extract of 
grain. God's image in me was not intended to 
wallow in filth. I can never use the ability I 
have to the best advantage, never be the man 
I was intended to be or am capable of being, 
while I harbor this enemy which will sap my 
ability and weaken my chances in life. It is 
creating structural changes in my body ; it is 
destroying my ability and blunting my moral 
sensibility. I am done with it once and for- 
ever ; the appetite for it is destroyed in my 
being. I do not want it — I do not need it — I 
will not touch it. I was made to hold up my 
head and be a man — to do the work of a man. 
There is something divine within me — the 
God-man — perfectly able to overcome this 
thing which is crippling my career and hold- 
ing me back, and I am going to do it." 

Don't be disappointed if you do not get im- 
mediate relief. Continue to talk to yourself in 
this confident manner, especially upon retiring, 
always affirming your ability to overcome your 
weakness, whatever it may be, and you will 
conquer. Your will power will assist you, but 
conviction is a thousand times stronger than 
will power ; and the constant affirmation of the 
ability of the divinity within you to overcome 
the thing which handicaps you will finally help 



198 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

you to conquer. When you once get a glimpse 
of the divine power within you, and experience 
its help; when you learn to trust to the God 
in you for assistance, you will find yourself 
and the Divinity always in the majority. No 
power can stand against you then. 

At first it may seem silly to you to be talk- 
ing to yourself, but you will derive so much 
benefit from it that you will have recourse to 
it in remedying all your defects. There is no 
fault, however great or small, which will not 
succumb to persistent audible suggestion. For 
example, you may be naturally timid and 
shrink from meeting people ; and you may dis- 
trust your own ability. If so, you will be great- 
ly helped by assuring yourself in your daily 
self-talks that you are not timid ; that, on the 
contrary, you are the embodiment of courage 
and bravery. Assure yourself that there is no 
reason why you should be timid, because there 
is nothing inferior or peculiar about you ; that 
you are attractive, and that you know how to 
act in the presence of others. Say to yourself 
that you are never again going to allow your- 
self to harbor any thoughts of self-deprecia- 
tion or timidity or inferiority; that you are 
going to hold your head up and go about as 
though you were a king, a conqueror, instead 



AFFIRMATION 199 

of crawling about like a whipped cur. You 
are going to assert your manhood, your indi- 
viduality. 

Man was planned to stand erect, to look up, ] 
to go through life with his backbone straight, 
to look the world in the face with a fearless 
eye — he was never made to cower and flinch, \ 
to whine, to apologize and to depreciate his 
ability. 

If you lack initiative, stoutly affirm your 
ability to begin things, and to push them 
through to a finish. And always put your re- 
solve into action at the first opportunity. 

If you are bashful, diffident in company, and 
inclined to depreciate yourself and think that 
you are not quite as good as other people, just 
deny all of this to yourself, and resolve that 
you will never lose an opportunity for culti- 
vating and strengthening your deficient con- 
versational faculties. 

Never allow yourself to imagine that you 
are being watched or laughed at. Always 
think of yourself as a king or a queen. If you 
suffer from self-consciousness, oversensitive- 
ness, say to yourself constantly : " I am a king. 
There is no reason why I should consider my- 
self inferior to others. I will just walk about 
as though I were governor of my state, or 



200 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

mayor of my city ; a full, complete man — mas- 
ter of the situation." 

If you are the victim of indecision ; if you 
are inclined to weigh and balance and recon- 
sider tilings all the time, just deny all this 
to yourself verbally, strongly, emphatically, 
and resolve that hereafter you are going to act 
before your doubt has a chance to weaken your 
decision or ask for a reconsideration. Say to 
yourself that you would better make mistakes 
than not to act at all, or to be forever on the 
fence. 

If you have hard work to make up your 
mind to undertake what you know you ought 
to, just get by yourself somewhere alone and 
brace yourself up. Talk to yourself as you 
would to some friend whom you love; some 
one whom you know has ability but lacks cour- 
age and pluck. Reenforce yourself; reinvigor- 
ate your mind ; reassure yourself. 

Through these self-talks, if you will be sin- 
cere with yourself and strong and persistent 
in your affirmations, you will be surprised to 
see how you can increase your courage, your 
confidence, and your ability to execute your 
ideas. 

I know a young man who was so self-con- 
scious when a youth that he would cross the 



AFFIRMATION 201 

street to avoid meeting any one he knew. He 
was completely confused when any one he was 
not accustomed to see chanced to speak to him. 
He was constantly depreciating himself and 
belittling his ability. Indeed, I have rarely 
seen any one who depreciated a splendid abil- 
ity so much as he did. Yet he has so entirely 
overcome these faults by audible suggestion 
that no one would suspect that he had ever 
lacked self-appreciation or confidence, or that 
he had been a victim of shyness. 

He tells me that he used to go out in the 
country and talk to himself seriously about 
his failings. " Now, Arthur, either there is 
something in you or there is not ; and I am 
going to find out," he would say. " Do not be 
a fool. You are just as good as anybody else, 
so long as you behave as well. Hold up your 
head and be a man. Do not be afraid to face 
anybody. Go about among people as though 
you were somebody. Quit this everlasting self- 
depreciation, self-effacement. You are God's 
child, and you have just as good a right on 
this glad green earth as anybody else. Do not 
go about apologizing for being alive, or im- 
agining you are taking up room which belongs 
to others." 

He says that he also derives very great 



202 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

benefit from praising and appreciating himself 
audibly when he has done unusually well, or 
has acquitted himself as a man. On such occa- 
sions he will sav : " Arthur, that was fine ! You 
did splendidly ! I am proud of you. That just 
shows what you are capable of. Do as well in 
every instance, and you will amount to some- 
thing in the world and be somebody." 

I know of nothing so helpful for the timid, 
those who lack faith in themselves, as the habit 
of constantly affirming their own importance, 
their own power, their own divinity. When a 
man once sees that he is divine, once gets a 
glimpse of his own capability, he will never 
be content to wallow in the mud and mire of 
things ; nor will he doubt his own kingship. 
The trouble is that men do not think half 
enough of themselves ; do not accurately meas- 
ure their ability ; do not put the right estimate 
upon their possibilities. We berate ourselves, 
belittle, efiface ourselves, because we do not 
see the larger, diviner man in us. 

The objective side of man has a wonderful 
power to inspire and to encourage the sub- 
jective side; to arouse the subconscious men- 
tality where all latent power and possibilities 
lie. Deep within man dwell those slumbering 
powers; powers that would astonish him, that 



AFFIRMATION 203 

he never dreamed of possessing; forces that 
would revolutionize his life if aroused and 
put into action. 

The majority of people call out but a very 
small percentage of these latent forces which 
are waiting to serve them. Many pass the 
half-century mark before some emergency or 
crisis in their life lifts the lid off their possi- 
bilities, and multitudes go through life without 
ever getting a glimpse of their powers. 

Many a family has eked out a miserable 
existence in poverty and drudgery while there 
was a fortune in minerals or oils in the very 
soil which they owned. Millions have died in 
mental penury, died weaklings, when they had 
within their own natures vast possibilities of 
power which they never uncovered, never 
utilized. 

As miners have died poor while holding 
claims which covered great wealth, so vast 
multitudes of people die poor without ever 
working the rich mines within them. 

The trouble with us is that we do not make 
a loud enough call upon the Great Within of 
us, our higher, more potent selves. We are too 
timid, too tame in our demands. 

" Affirm that which you wish, and it will be 
manifest in your life." Affirm it confidently, 



204 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

with the utmost faith, without any doubt of 
what you affirm. 

Assert your possession of the things you 
need ; of the qualities you long to own. Force 
your mind toward your goal ; hold it there 
steadily, persistently, for this is the mental 
condition that creates. The negative mind, 
which doubts and wavers, creates nothing. 
" Nerve us with incessant affirmatives ; do not 
bark against the bad; but chant the beauties 
of the good." 

" I, myself, am good fortune," says Walt 
Whitman. 

If we could only realize that the very atti- 
tude of assuming that we are the real embodi- 
ment of the thing we long to be or to attain, 
that we possess the good things we long for, 
not that we possess all the qualities of good, 
but that we are these qualities — with the con- 
stant affirming, " I myself am good luck, good 
fortune ; I am myself a part of the great crea- 
tive, sustaining principle of the universe, be- 
cause my real, divine self and my Father are 
one " — what a revolution would come to 
earth's toilers ! 



XII. DESTRUCTIVE AND 
CONSTRUCTIVE SUGGESTION 



XII. DESTRUCTIVE AND 
CONSTRUCTIVE SUGGESTION 




RIMINALS are mental crimi- 
nals first. The deed itself is 
merely the physical acting 
out of the crime which they 
have rehearsed so many times 
in their imagination. 

An ex-convict who served 
twenty-five years in the different penitentiaries 
of New York State said that he did not have 
the slightest conscious thought of ever becom- 
ing a criminal. But he had a natural love for 
doing things which seemed impossible to 
others, and when he went by a rich man's resi- 
dence he could not help thinking out different 
ways of entering the house in the night, until 
he finally attempted it. He took great pride in 
going from room to room while everybody 
was asleep and getting out without waking 
any one. Every time he did this he felt a sense 
of triumph, as though he had done something 
worthy of praise. He said he did not rob so 
much for the value of the things he stole as 
to gratify his passion for taking risks, and he 
could hardly believe it when he found that he 
was actually doing the things he had contem- 

207 



2o8 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

plated until they became a part of his nature. 
When he was arrested the first time, it did not 
seem possible to him that he could be a 
criminal. 

This shows what a dangerous thing it is to 
hold in the mind a wrong suggestion, for it 
tends to become a part of us, and, before we 
realize it, we are like our thought. 

Professional burglars tell us that for years 
before they fell they committed all sorts of 
thefts in their imagination. They would think 
out ingenious ways of entering houses and 
accomplishing their ends without detection. 

They dwelt upon the thought of crime so 
long that, before they were aware of it, they 
had actually committed the deed. The criminal 
suggestion was held in mind until it became 
incorporated in their life structure, and they 
were amazed to find themselves criminals. 
Many of them had no thought of ever commit- 
ting actual crime when they first began to 
think about it, but the criminal thought, the 
criminal suggestion, did its work. 

Who can picture the havoc which the sus- 
picious suggestion has wrought in innocent 
lives? Think of the influence of employers 
holding the thought of suspicion regarding 
their servants or other employees. 



DESTRUCTIVE SUGGESTION 209 

Servants have actually been made dishonest 
by other persons perpetually holding the sus- 
picion that they were dishonest. This thought 
suggests dishonesty to the suspected perhaps 
for the first time, and being constantly held 
takes root and grows, and bears the fruit of 
theft. The old proverb, " If you have the 
name, you might as well have the game," is 
put into action many times. It is simply cruel • 
to hold a suspicious thought of another until 
you have positive proof. That other person's 
mind is sacred ; you have no right to invade 
it with your miserable thoughts and pictures 
of suspicion. You should not indulge in such 
thoughts of yourself, any more than you would 
allow yourself to hold thoughts of blacker 
sin or crime. Many a being has been made 
wretched and miserable for years ; has been 
depressed and borne down by the uncharitable, 
wicked thoughts of others. 

Many people scatter fear thoughts, doubt 
thoughts, failure thoughts wherever they go; 
and these take root in minds that might other- 
wise be free from them and therefore happy, 
confident, and successful. 

Who can ever estimate the human tragedy, 
the suffering, the failures, caused by hypno- 
tizing oneself by vicious thoughts, or becom- 



2IO PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

ing- hypnotized throug-h the wrong thoughts 
of others? 

The time will come when we shall have more 
sympathy for those who go wrong, and even 
for criminals ; because we shall know how pow- 
erfully human minds are influenced by the 
vicious thoughts of others. 

Many a youth who has been thrown into 
prison for some minor offense has been 
changed into a hardened criminal by constant 
association with the criminal classes ; by being 
cut off from all communication and association 
with the good, and with no possibility of even 
seeing good books. The perpetual criminal sug- 
gestions about him were held in his mind so 
long that he became morbid, surcharged with 
criminal tendencies. If, instead of being locked 
up, he could be put upon a huge farm in a 
beautiful section of the country, with beautiful 
surroundings of mountains, lakes, flowers, 
trees and grass, and placed under kindly, edu- 
cative influences, it would be possible to re- 
form the criminal in a great majority of cases. 
The substitution of prison surroundings, the 
consciousness that he is cut off from the world 
he loves — from friends, from healthy influ- 
ences, from all possibility of carrying out his 
ambitions — disheartens and discourages him, 



DESTRUCTIVE SUGGESTION 211 

and his mind soon coincides with the continual 
suggestions around him. 

We are creatures of suggestion. We get 
them from newspapers, books, from every one 
with whom we come in contact. The atmos- 
phere is full of them. We are constantly giv- 
ing them to ourselves. In other words, our 
characters are largely made up from various 
kinds of suggestion. 

We all know how we are influenced by a 
powerful play or a powerful book. 

I know a lady who reads the most tragic and 
emotional stories she can get hold of ; and she 
says she is often so aflfected by a book that 
she is obliged to go to bed for an entire day 
at a time. So powerfully does the suggestion 
in the book take possession of her, that, for the 
time, she lives the life that is depicted there. 
She feels that she is one of the characters she 
is reading about. 

It is not difficult to trace many a criminal's 
acts to the graphic suggestions of criminal 
novels, the exciting stories of murder and 
plunder which he began to read when a child. 

People with criminal tendencies love to read 
stories of crime and hairbreadth escapes. They 
are great detective-story readers. Some youths 
unconsciously inflame their imagination thus 



212 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

until they become abnormal. They develop a 
morbid desire actually to do the criminal deed 
which they have performed so many times 
mentally. 

Think of the awful responsibility of throw- 
ing out in picture, in cartoon, in print, the daily 
suggestion of scandal, of murder, of suicide, 
of crime in all its forms, with all the insidious 
suggestiveness which lives in detailed descrip- 
tion ! 

Some time ago the mayor of one of our 
western cities requested the editors of the daily 
papers to refrain from publishing the details 
of suicides, because he said their publication 
had caused an alarming epidemic of suicides 
in that community. 

There is no doubt that many a criminal is 
serving a sentence which ought to be served 
by those who have influenced him to commit 
the crime for which he is being punished. 

Indelible and satanic is the taint of the evil 
suggestion which a lewd, questionable picture 
or story leaves in the mind. Nothing else more 
fatally mars the ideals of life and lowers the 
standard of manhood and womanhood. 

The suggestion of impurity in trashy litera- 
ture is responsible for a great deal of dissipa- 
tion ; for blasted hopes and blighted lives. The 



DESTRUCTIVE SUGGESTION 213 

same is true of suggestiveness in art. Many- 
impure artists have made their fortunes and 
their reputations by treading upon forbidden 
ground, by going just as near the point of 
legal prohibition in their pictures as possible. 

If young people only realized what a terrible 
thing it is to get even a suggestion of impurity 
into the mind, they would never read an author 
whose lines drip with the very gall of death. 
They would not look at those dangerous books 
which lead their readers as near the edge of 
indecency as possible without stepping over. 
To describe impurity in rosy, glowing, seduc- 
tive, suggestive language, is but the refinement 
of the house of death. 

We have all had the exalted experience, the 
marvellous tonic, the uplift, that has come 
from the suggestion in a play or a book de- 
picting a great hero. How heroic and noble 
and self-sacrificing we feel for a long time, 
and how resolved we are to become like the 
hero in the play or the story ! This is a good 
illustration of the power suggestion is con- 
stantly playing in our experience all through 
life. 

How important it is that from childhood we 
should be in the atmosphere of uplifting, en- 
couraging, cheerful, optimistic, loving ideals! 



y 



214 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

Teachers tell us that in the schools in the slums 
of cities there are children who never smile, 
who are always sad and gloomy because of the 
terrible influence in their homes ; where there 
is a constant suggestion of suffering, of filth, 
of profanity and of impurity; where all the 
ideals are low and debasing. 

I have known bright, healthy, refined orphan 
children to be completely transformed by being 
placed in coarse families, where hard, brutal 
suggestions were held constantly before their 
minds until their dispositions and characters 
were hardened, and all that was noblest and 
best in their natures was petrified. 

It is easy to account for a hard, cold, selfish 
nature when we find that the child has held 
these qualities as perpetual suggestions in the 
mind from infancy. Sweetness and light and 
beauty of character are not developed in an 
atmosphere thick with hatred and envy and 
poisoned with jealousy and selfishness. Like 
produces like ; this is an inexorable law every- 
where. Love is not generated in an atmosphere 
of bitterness ; unselfishness and sympathy are 
not fostered in an environment of greed and 
heartlessness. 

Dr. El wood Worcester, leader of the Em- 
manuel movement in B.. ^ton is a firm believer 



DESTRUCTIVE SUGGESTION 215 

in the power of suggestion to mould the char- 
acter of the child. He says : " There is a very 
easy and rational way by which many child- 
ish faults can be removed ; that is, by making 
good suggestions to our children while they 
are in a state of natural sleep. 

" My method is to address the sleeping child 
in a low and gentle tone, telling it that I am 
about to speak to it, and that it will hear me, 
but that my words will not disturb it nor will 
it awake. Then I give the necessary words, re- 
peating them in different language several 
times. By this means I have removed childish 
fears and corrected bad habits. I have checked 
nervous twitchings, anger, violence, a disposi- 
tion to lie, and I have improved speech in 
stammering children." 

We are so largely products of our environ- 
ment ; we are so sensitive to the suggestion 
dominant in our minds, that we can have a 
powerful influence over our destiny by auto- 
suggestion. We can often so dominate a 
vicious thought in our environment by a coun- 
teracting self-suggestion as to completely de- 
stroy it. The powerful self-suggestion of 
purity will quickly annihilate the opposite sug- 
gestion from others. The self-suggestions of 
justice and truth will quickly overmaster the 



2i6 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

suggestions of injustice and falsehood from 
those about us. 

" As a therapeutic agency and an uplifting 
ethical force," says Dr. Worcester, " auto-sug- 
gestion can hardly be exaggerated. The vari- 
ous troubles, physical and mental, which are 
amenable to its influence make a long list. In 
these and other troubles the patient can, as 
Shakespeare says, ' minister to himself.' What 
a gospel of hope is here for the depressed and 
unhappy! What a chance of redemption for 
those who are the slaves of circumstance or of 
their own folly ! " 

It is wholly a question of making the de- 
mand, the call, upon our better self so em- 
phatic, so vigorous, and so appealing that it 
will arouse our higher nature. Then there will 
be a leaping forth of an overpowering energy 
of the Godlike in us. 

When we see a man who has been but a 
mere apology for a human being, a curse to 
the race for half a lifetime, converted, trans- 
formed, by the love of some noble woman or 
friend, become a great power for good, we are 
apt to think that this transformation, this mira- 
cle is due to some force, some power outside of 
himself. But the power was within him all the 
time, waiting to be aroused, to be awakened. 



DESTRUCTIVE SUGGESTION 217 

When the right suggestion comes, and is made 
emphatic, vigorous enough, the divine within 
us will respond. 

People who are " down on their luck " are, 
as a rule, the victims of their own negative 
suggestion. If they could only substitute the 
positive, the creative, for the negative, the de- 
structive suggestion which enslaves them, they 
would win instead of losing. 

Darwin has shown that every mental state 
has a corresponding physical expression, and 
that if you assume one you are likely to 
experience the other. Anger, for instance, 
expresses itself physically in violent language, 
clenching the fists, slamming the door, or in 
other forms. And as a man may make himself 
angry by doing these things, so he can put 
himself into a devotional frame of mind by 
assuming an attitude of prayer. 

Some people are so happily constituted that 
they are constantly rejuvenating and refresh- 
ening and elevating themselves by the habitual 
appeal to their minds through suggestion. They 
keep so close to the divine power that they feel 
its thrill and are propelled by the great divine 
current. 

How often we are surprised at the discov- 
ery of some unexpected power or possibility 



2i8 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

within ourselves, which has been brought to 
the surface by the suggestion of some book, 
or by some friend who believed in us, or saw 
in us what we could not see ourselves ! 

The human mind may be attuned to any 
key, high or low, base or noble, by the power 
of suggestion. The suggestion may be in a 
word spoken by oneself or by another ; it may 
come from a book or a picture ; it may ema- 
nate from the presence of a friend or of an 
enemy, from a grand, heroic character, or a 
mean, cowardly one. From hundreds of sources 
it may come, from within or without, but 
wherever it comes from, it leaves its mark on 
the life for good or ill. 

Suggestion in its highest form is the appeal 
to our higher self to come into recognition of 
its own. No matter how bad a man may seem 
to be, there is a better man within him. No 
matter how low he may have sunk morally, 
to all outward appearance, there is something 
absolutely spotless within him, something 
which has never been smirched and can never 
be, and which will ultimately claim its birth- 
right and come to its own in splendor and 
power. 

No matter how soiled a banknote becomes 
it is always redeemable so long as there is any 



DESTRUCTIVE SUGGESTION 219 

distinguishable mark of its genuineness. There 
is something within every human being which 
will ultimately redeem him, no matter how far 
he may have drifted from the right. There is 
a better self in the worst criminal in our peni- 
tentiaries which will some day, somewhere, re- 
deem him, bring him to his own. The God 
within him will finally triumph. Every human 
being some time, somewhere, will come into 
harmony with the divine. Every child of the 
King will ultimately inherit his kingdom. 



XIII. WORRY, THE DISEASE OF 
THE AGE 



XIII. WORRY, THE DISEASE OF 
THE AGE 



Some people bear three kinds of trouble — all they 
ever had, all they have now, and all they expect to 
have. — Edward Everett Hale. 




NE who could rid the world 
of worry would render 
greater service to the race 
than all of the inventors and 
discoverers that ever lived. 

We Americans pity igno- 
rant savages who live in terror 
of their cruel gods, their demons which keep 
them in abject slavery, but we ourselves are 
the slaves of a demon which blasts our hopes, 
blights our happiness, casts its hideous shadow 
across all our pleasures, destroys our sleep, 
mars our health, and keeps us in misery most 
of our lives. 

This monster dogs us from the cradle to the 
grave. There is no occasion so sacred but it is 
there. Unbidden it comes to the wedding and 
the funeral alike. It is at every reception, 
every banquet ; it occupies a seat at every tabic. 
No human intellect can estimate the unutter- 
able havoc and ruin wrought by worry. It has 
forced genius to do the work of mediocrity; 

223 



224 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

it has caused more failures, more broken 
hearts, more blasted hopes, than any other one 
cause since the dawn of the world. 

What have not men done under the pressure 
of worry ! They have plunged into all sorts 
of vice; have become drunkards, drug fiends; 
have sold their very souls in their efforts to 
escape this monster. 

Think of the homes which it has broken up ; 
the ambitions it has ruined ; the hopes and 
prospects it has blighted ! Think of the suicide 
victims of this demon ! If there is any devil in 
existence, is it not worry, with all its attendant 
progeny of evils? 

Yet, in spite of all the tragic evils that fol- 
low in its wake, a visitor from another world 
would get the impression that worry is one of 
our dearest, most helpful friends, so closely do 
we hug it to ourselves and so loath are we to 
part from it. 

Is it not unaccountable that people who 
know perfectly well that success and happiness 
both depend on keeping themselves in condi- 
tion to get the most possible out of their ener- 
gies should harbor in their minds the enemy 
of this very success and happiness? Is it not 
strange that they should form this habit of 
anticipating evils that will probably never 



WORRY, DISEASE OF THE AGE 225 

come, when they know that anxiety and fret- 
ting will not only rob them of peace of mind 
and strength and ability to do their work, but 
also of precious years of life ? 

Many a strong man is tied down, like Gulli- 
ver, by Lilliputians — ^bound hand and foot by 
the little worries and vexations he has never 
learned to conquer. 

What would be thought of a business man ^ v p/^ 
who would keep in his service employees 
known to have been robbing him for years, 
stealing a little here and a little there every 
day? Yet one may be keeping in his mental 
business house, at the very source of his 
power, a thief infinitely worse than one who 
merely steals money or material things ; a 
thief who robs him of energy, saps his vitality, 
and bankrupts him of all that makes life worth 
while. 

Do we pity the pagans who lacerate them- 
selves in all sorts of cruel ways in their wor- 
ship? Yet many of us constantly torment our- 
selves by all sorts of mental instruments of 
torture. 

We borrow trouble ; endure all our lives the 
woe of crossing and recrossing bridges weeks 
and years before we come to them; do dis- 
agreeable tasks mentally over and over again 



226 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

before we reach them ; anticipate our drudgery 
and constantly suffer from the apprehension of 
terrible things that never happen. 

I know women who never open a telegram 
without trembling, for they feel sure it will 
announce the death of a friend or some ter- 
rible disaster. If their children have gone for 
a sail or a picnic, they are never easy a mo- 
ment during their absence ; they work them- 
selves into a fever of anxiety for fear that 
some accident will befall them, that something 
awful will happen to them. 

Many a mother fritters away more energy 
in useless frets and fears for her children, in 
nervous strain over this or that, than she uses 
for her daily routine of domestic work. She 
wonders why she is so exhausted at the close 
of the day, and never dreams that she has 
thrown away the greater part of her force. 

Is it not strange that people will persist in 
allowing little worries, petty vexations, and 
unnecessary frictions to grind life away at 
such a fearful rate that old age stares them 
in the face in middle life? Look at the women 
who are shrivelled and shrunken and aged at 
thirty, not because of tht hard work they have 
done, or the real troubles they have had, but 
because of habitual fretting, which has helped 



WORRY, DISEASE OF THE AGE 227 

nobody, but has brought discord and unhap- 
piness to their homes. 

Somewhere I read of a worn.-ing' woman 
who made a Hst of possible unfortunate events 
and happenings which she felt sure would 
come to pass and be disastrous to her happi- 
ness and welfare. The list was lost, and to her 
amazement, when she recovered it, a long time 
afterwards, she found that not a single unfor- 
tunate prediction in the whole catalogue of 
disasters had taken place. 

Is not this a good suggestion for worriers? 
Write down everything which you think is 
going to turn out badly, and then put the list 
aside. You will be surprised to see what a small 
percentage of the doleful things ever come to 
pass. 

It is a pitiable thing to see vigorous men and 
women, who have inherited godlike qualities 
and bear the impress of divinity, wearing anx- 
ious faces and filled with all sorts of fear and 
uncertainty, worrying about yesterday, to-day, 
to-morrow — ever}'thing imaginable. 

In entering New York by train every morn- 
ing, I notice business men with hard, tense 
expressions on their faces, leaning forward 
when the train approaches the station, as if 
they could hasten its progress and save time, 



228 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

many of them getting up from their seats and 
rushing toward the door several minutes be- 
fore the train stops. The anxiety in their every 
movement ; the hurried nervousness in their 
manner ; and their hard, drawn countenances 
— all are indications of an abnormal life. 

No man can utilize his normal power who 
dissipates his nervous energy in useless anxiety. 
Nothing will sap one's vitality and blight one's 
ambition or detract from one's real power in 
the world more than the worrying habit. 

Work kills no one, but worr>^ has killed 
multitudes. It is not the doing things which 
injures us so much as the dreading to do them 
— not only performing them mentally over and 
over again, but anticipating something dis- 
agreeable in their performance. 

Many of us approach an unpleasant task In 
much the same condition as a runner who 
begins his start such a long distance away 
that by the time he reaches his objective point 
— the ditch or the stream which is to test his 
agility — he is too exhausted to jump across. 

Worry not only saps vitality and wastes 
energy-, but it also seriously affects the quality 
of one's work. It cuts down ability. A man 
cannot get the highest quality of efficiency into 
his work when his mind is troubled. The men- 



WORRY, DISEASE OF THE AGE 229 

tal faculties must have perfect freedom before 
they will give out their best. A troubled brain 
cannot think clearly, vigorously, and logically. 
The attention cannot be concentrated with any- 
thing like the same force when the brain cells 
are poisoned with anxiety as when they are 
fed by pure blood and are clean and unclouded. 
The blood of chronic worriers is vitiated with 
poisonous chemical substances and broken- 
down tissues, according to Prof. Elmer Gates 
and other noted scientists, who have shown 
that the passions and the harmful emotions 
cause actual chemical changes in the secre- 
tions and generate poisonous substances in the 
body which are fatal to healthy growth and 
action. 

The brain cells are constantly bathed in the 
blood, from which they draw their nourish- 
ment, and when the blood is loaded with the 
poison of fear, worry, anger, hatred, or jeal- 
ousy, the protoplasm of those delicate cells be- 
comes hard and is thus materially injured. 

The most pathetic effect of worry is its im- 
pairment of the thinking powers. It so clogs 
the brain and paralyzes thought that the re- 
sults of the worrier's work merely mock his 
ambition, and often lead to the drink or drug 
habit. Its continued friction robs the brain 



230 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

cells of an opportunity to renew themselves ; 
and so after awhile there is a breakdown of 
the nervous system and then the worrier suf- 
fers from insomnia and other nervous ail- 
ments, and sometimes becomes hopelessly 
insane. 

If you never accomplish anything else in 
life, get rid of worry. There are no greater 
enemies of harmony than little anxieties and 
petty cares. Do not flies aggravate a nervous 
horse more than his work? Do not little nag- 
gings, constantly touching him with the whip, 
or jerking at the reins, fret and worry him 
much more than the labor of drawing the 
carriage ? 

It is the little pin-pricks, the petty annoy- 
ances of our every-day life, that mar our com- 
fort and happiness and rob us of more strength 
than the great troubles which we nerve our- 
selves to meet. It is the perpetual scolding and 
fault-finding of an irritable man or woman 
which ruins the entire peace and happiness of 
many a home. 

An habitual worrier — an aged woman — 
said to her physician, " My head feels dull- 
like, and I've kinder lost the power to worry 
over things." A great many people would be 
much troubled were they to lose the power to 



WORRY, DISEASE OF THE AGE 231 

worry over things. They think it their duty 
to worry. They would not feel that they were 
conscientious or faithful if they were not 
always anxious over what they were doing. 
They would not think they were showing a 
proper interest in it. 

Anticipating a thing tends to bring it to us. 
Worry about disease is a disease producer. It 
is well known that many victims of the great 
plagues of history have been slain simply by 
fear and dread. 

Professor Gates says that by directing his 
thought to one of his thumbs, and holding it 
there, in ten minutes' time the thumb was 
gorged with blood, and the temperature was 
two degrees higher than in the other thumb. 
This is what happens when the worry thought 
— the terror thought — of some disease is con- 
tinually focused on a part of the body which 
we think has been affected by heredity. 

Great numbers of men and women become 
hypochondriacs by dwelling for a long time on 
diseases they fear. If they happen to feel a 
little stupid or absent-minded, if their minds 
do not always work just right, as is often the 
case with even the most healthy brains, they 
immediately surmise that there is something 
wrong with their heads. 



232 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

There is no doubt that the " quick lunch " 
habit, the habit of bolting the food without 
proper mastication, is a fruitful source of in- 
digestion, and this has a great deal to do with 
the worry habit of the American people. 

The digestive organs are extremely sensitive 
to worry, and when the digestion is interfered 
with the whole physical economy is thrown 
into disorder. 

Worry and fear will not only whiten the 
hair, but will also cause premature baldness — 
a condition known as nervous baldness. An- 
other result is a loss of tone and elasticity in 
the facial muscles. " The lips, cheeks, and lower 
jaw," says Darwin, " all sink downward from 
their own weight." 

Worry not only makes a woman look older, 
but also actually makes her older. It is a chisel 
which cuts cruel furrows in the face. I have 
seen one so completely changed by a few 
weeks of anxiety that the whole countenance 
had a different expression and the individual 
seemed almost like another person. 

One of the worst forms of worry is the 
brooding over failure. It blights the ambition, 
deadens the purpose and defeats the very 
object the worrier has in view. 

Some people have the unfortunate habit of 



WORRY, DISEASE OF THE AGE 233 

brooding over their past lives, castigating 
themselves for their shortcomings and mis- 
takes, until their whole vision is turned back- 
ward instead of forward, and they see every- 
thing in a distorted light, because they are 
looking only on the shadow side. 

The longer the unfortunate picture which 
has caused trouble remains in the mind, the 
more thoroughly it becomes imbedded there, 
and the more difficult it is to remove it. 

Did you ever hear of any good coming to 
any human being from zvorryf Did it ever help 
anybody to better his condition? Does it not 
always — everywhere — do just the opposite by 
impairing the health, exhausting the vitality, 
lessening efficiency ? 

Are we not convinced that a power beyond 
our control runs the universe, that every mo- 
ment of worry detracts from our success capi- 
tal and makes our failure more probable ; that 
every bit of anxiety and fretfulness leaves its 
mark on the body, interrupts the harmony of 
our physical and mental well-being, and 
cripples efficiency, and that this condition is 
at war with our highest endeavor ? 

Let us then cease to worry. Let us stop the 
habit— if we have it— of telling everybody 
about our troubles. What we want to do, in 



234 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

order to drive out troubles, is to forget them 
— bury them — not keep them ahve by airing 
them continuaUy. 

A great deal can be done to correct the 
causes of worry by keeping up the health stand- 
ard. A good digestion, a clear conscience, and 
sound sleep kill a lot of trouble. Worry thrives 
best under abnormal conditions. It cannot get 
much of a hold on a man with a superb phy- 
sique — a man who lives a clean, sane life. It 
thrives on the weak — those of low vitality 
whose reserve force has been exhausted. 

We see women resorting to massage, elec- 
tricity, exercises, chin straps, wrinkle plasters, 
and all sorts of things to erase the terrible 
ravages of worry and anxiety ; apparently 
ignorant of the fact that the supreme remedy 
— the great panacea — is in the mind, they con- 
tinue to worry as to how they shall get rid of 
the effects of worry ! 

J Nothing else w^ill so quickly drive away 
'worry as the habit of cheerfulness, of making 
the best of things, of refusing to see the ugly 
side of life. 

When you feel fear or anxiety entering your 
thought, just fill your mind instantly with 
courage, hope, and confidence. Refuse to let 
any enemies of your happiness and success 



WORRY, DISEASE OF THE AGE 235 

camp in your mind. Drive out the whole brood 
of vampires. 

You can kill worry thoughts easily when 
you know the antidote ; and this you always 
have in your mind. You do not have to go to 
a drug store or a physician for it. It is always 
with you — always ready. All you have to do 
is to substitute hope, courage, cheerfulness, 
serenity, for despondency, discouragement, 
pessimism, worry. Opposite thoughts zvill not 
live together. The presence of one excludes 
Jhe other. 

" People ask me daily," said Patti, " when 
they look at my face, without a wrinkle, what 
I do to keep so young. I tell them that when- 
ever I have felt a wrinkle coming I have 
laughed it away. My advice to the woman who 
wants to remain young is : 'Be happy — don't 
worry, but walk.' " 



XIV. FEAR, THE CURSE OF THE 
RACE 



XIV. FEAR, THE CURSE OF THE 
RACE 

Fear makes man a slave to others. This is the tyrant's 
chain. Anxiety is a form of cowardice embittering 
life. — Channing. 

Fear is an acid which is pumped into one's atmosphere. 
It causes mental, moral, and spiritual asphyxiation, 
and sometimes death; death to energy and all growth. 
— Horace Fletcher. 




HAT is fear? It is absolutely 
nothing. It is a mental illu- 
sion. There is no reality be- 
hind it. It is to the sane adult 
what the ghost is to the child. 
There is not a single re- 
deeming feature about fear 
or any of its numerous progeny. It is always, 
everywhere, an unmitigated curse. Although 
there is no reality in fear, no truth behind it, 
yet everywhere we see people who are slaves 
to this monster of the imagination. 

Fear is one of the most deadly instruments 
for marring human lives. It has a paralyzing, 
blighting influence upon the whole being. It 
impoverishes the blood and destroys health by 
im]jairing the digestion, cutting off nutrition, 
and lowering the physical and mental vitality. 

239 



240 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

It crushes hope, kills courage, and so enfeebles 
the mind's action that it cannot create or 
produce. 

All work done when one is suffering from a 
sense of fear or foreboding has little efficiency. 
Fear strangles originality, daring, boldness ; it 
kills individuality, and weakens all the mental 
processes. Great things are never done under 
a sense of fear of some impending danger. 
Fear always indicates weakness, the presence 
of cowardice. What a slaughterer of years, 
what a sacrificer of happiness and ambitions, 
what a miner of careers this monster has 
been ! The Bible says, " A broken spirit drieth 
the bones." It is well known that mental de- 
pression — melancholy — will check very mate- 
rially the glandular secretions of the body and 
literally dry up the tissues. 

Fear depresses normal mental action, and 
renders one incapable of acting wisely in an 
emergency, for no one can think clearly and 
act wisely when paralyzed by fear. 

When a man becomes melancholy and dis- 
couraged about his affairs, when he is filled 
with fear that he is going to fail, and is 
haunted by the spectre of poverty and a suffer- 
ing family, before he realizes it, he attracts the 
very thing he dreads, and the prosperity is 



FEAR, CURSE OF THE RACE 241 

crushed out of his business. But he is a mental 
failure first. 

If, instead of giving up to his fear, a man 
would persist in keeping prosperity in his 
mind, assume a hopeful, optimistic attitude, 
and would conduct his business in a system- 
atic, economical, far-sighted manner, actual 
failure would be comparatively rare. But when 
a man becomes discouraged, when he loses 
heart and grip, and becomes panic-stricken, he 
is not in a position to make the effort which 
is absolutely necessary to bring victory, and 
there is a shrinkage all along the line. 

He is in no condition to ward off the evil 
before which he cowers. His mental attitude 
lowers his vitality, lessens his powers of re- 
sistance, vitiates his efficiency, and ruins his 
resourcefulness. 

One of the worst forms of fear is that of a 
foreboding of some evil to come, which hangs 
over the life like a threatening cloud over a 
volcano before an eruption. 

Some people are always suffering from this 
peculiar phase of fear. They are apprehensive 
that some great misfortune is coming to them, 
that they are going to lose their money or their 
position ; or they are afraid of accident, or that 
some fatal disease is developing in them. If 



242 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

their children are away they see them in all 
sorts of catastrophes — railroad wrecks, burn- 
ing cars, or shipwrecks. They are always pic- 
turing the worst. " You never can tell what 
will happen," they say, " and it is better to 
prepare for the worst." 

I know a woman who went through the 
most heartrending experiences for years in an- 
ticipation of a catastrophe which she believed 
would prove so overwhelming that it could not 
possibly leave any hope behind ; but when the 
thing occurred that she had dreaded for so 
long, she was surprised to find that it did not 
overwhelm her. 

How we suffer all our lives from the fear 
of accident — ^the fear of being run over in the 
streets, the fear of being mairaed, of losing 
our limbs, the fear of railroad accidents, of 
accidents on the ocean, the fear of lightning, 
of earthquakes — fear of all kinds ! And yet 
here we are at the present moment, most of 
us without the loss of a finger, and many 
without even a scratch or a scar, although we 
have, perhaps, travelled a great deal over the 
world for a lifetime. 

How we are dogged with this fear fiend all 
our lives ! 

Many women have such a terror of snakes 



FEAR, CURSE OF THE RACE 243 

that they never take any comfort while in the 
country. They are always imagining they are 
going to step on one or run across one. This 
dread ruins their vacations, for they never dare 
go in the woods or walk on the grass. 

I have known women who lived in rattle- 
snake regions to be so terror-stricken for fear 
they should run across these snakes that they 
never dared go anywhere alone, and always 
lived in anticipation of seeing these terrible 
creatures. 

Some people who travel in the tropics have 
such fear of poisonous insects and reptiles that 
they never have a minute's peace while they 
are there. They are always imagining these 
terrible creatures are crawling over them in 
the night. 

I know a man who is a born coward regard- 
ing physical pain, and who lives in such terror 
of sickness and disease that he makes himself 
constantly wretched by anticipating maladies 
which never affect him. If he feels a cold 
coming on, he is sure he is going to have an 
acute attack of the grip. If he has a sore 
throat, he thinks it is going to develop into 
tonsillitis, and that he will not be able to swal- 
low. If he has a little palpitation after eating 
a hearty meal, caused by undue pressure upon 



244 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

the heart, he imagines he is going to be a vic- 
tim of serious heart trouble. 

He has become so finicky about his health 
that he is a perfect nuisance to his family and 
to his friends. He is always wanting windows 
closed, or more heat, or he wants — nobody 
knows what he will want. Plis friends do 
not like to invite him to go anywhere with 
them, because he is so particular about his 
food, and he always imagines he is going to 
be burned up in a hotel or killed on a train 
or steamboat. 

It is true this is an exaggerated case ; but 
there are vast multitudes of people who are 
under a similar domination of fear and appre- 
hension all their lives. I know people who 
never get happiness out of life, except in little 
snatches. They work like slaves to get to- 
gether enough property to carry them through, 
as they say, yet they never enjoy it. They look 
on life as terribly serious. They are always 
afraid they are going to lose their property, 
or that something fearful is going to happen. 

The most deplorable waste of energy in hu- 
man life is caused by the fatal habit of anti- 
cipating evil, of fearing what the future has 
in store for us, and under no circumstances 
can the fear or worry be justified by the situa- 



FEAR. CURSE OF THE RACE 245 

tion, for it is always an imaginary one, utterly 
groundless and without foundation. 

What we fear is invariably something that 
has not yet happened. It does not exist ; hence 
is not a reality. If you are actually suffering 
from a disease you have feared, then fear only 
aggravates every painful feature of your ill- 
ness and makes its fatal issue more probable. 

The fear habit shortens life, for it impairs 
all the physiological processes. Its power is 
shown by the fact that it actually changes the 
chemical composition of the secretions of the 
body. Fear victims not only age prematurely 
but they also die prematurely. 

Sensitive, nervous people, and those who are 
physically weak, suffer most from fear. We all 
know how the imagination tends to exaggerate 
everything, and people with sensitive, nervous 
organizations, and those in feeble health usu- 
ally imagine that the worst possible will hap- 
pen. Strong, robust health itself will kill a ' 
great many fears which cause intense suffer- 
ing when the vitality is low and the power 
of resistance is weak. 

Many people live so perpetually under the 
dominion of this demon, that they never de- 
velop normally. As children, their lives were 
starved and stunted ; they were inoculated with 



246 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

the germ of fear way back in childhood when 
the mother was constantly reminding the little 
ones of terrible results which would follow if 
they did this or that. Fear shadows were con- 
stantly projected into their susceptible little 
minds, until the demon became so thoroughly 
intrenched in their lives that it follows them 
through the years like a hideous ghost, hover- 
ing round to destroy their peace of mind and 
happiness. Every ugly thing told to a child, 
every shock, every fright given him will re- 
main like splinters in the flesh to torture him 
all his life long. Anxiety, fear, horror, will 
twine themselves round these memories. 

A mother little realizes the cruel thing she is 
doing when she impresses upon a child's plastic 
mind the terrible image of fear, which, like 
letters cut on a sapling, grows wider and 
deeper with age. 

A perfectly normal child, with no inherited 
fear tendencies, would not know the meaning 
of fear. It was not intended that we should be 
followed and hounded through life by this 
demon. It is a creature born in our own brain, 
the offspring of our own thinking and acting. 
Everywhere we see the terrible havoc that fear 
has wrought in human lives. The premature 
wrinkles, the gray hair, the stooping shoul- 



FEAR, CURSE OF THE RACE 247 

ders, the anxious faces we see on all sides are 
the out-picturing of foreboding fear thought. 

A noted nerve specialist says : " Thousands 
of times I have been compelled to recognize 
the sad fact that at least eighty per cent of 
morbidly timid children could have been cured 
and saved, in time, by common-sense prin- 
ciples of psychological and physiological hy- 
giene, in which the main factor is suggestion 
inspired by wholesome courage." 

It is much easier for the mother or nurse 
to frighten a child into submission than to 
soothe it, reason with it, and the weak, igno- 
rant, thoughtless mother constantly appeals to 
the child's fear as the quickest, most effect- 
ive means of securing obedience. 

" Fear runs like a baleful thread through 
the whole web of Hfe from beginning to end," 
says Dr. Holcomb. " We are born into the 
atmosphere of fear and dread, and the mother 
who bore us had lived in the same atmosphere 
for weeks and months before we were born. 
We are afraid of our parents, afraid of our 
teachers, afraid of our playmates, afraid of 
ghosts, afraid of rules and regulations and 
punishments, afraid of the doctor, the dentist, 
the surgeon. Our adult life is a state of chronic 
anxiety, which is fear in a milder form. We 



248 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

are afraid of failure in business, afraid of dis- 
appointments and mistakes, afraid of enemies, 
open or concealed ; afraid of poverty, afraid of 
public opinion, afraid of accidents, of sickness, 
of death, and unhappiness after death. Man is 
like a haunted animal from the cradle to the 
grave, the victim of real or imaginary fears, 
not only his own, but those reflected upon him 
from the superstitions, self-deceptions, sensory 
illusions, false beliefs, and concrete errors of 
the whole human race, past and present." 

Most of us are foolish children, afraid of 
our shadows, so handicapped in a thousand 
ways that we cannot get efficiency into our 
life work. 

The recent spectacle of multitudes of people 
(many of them waiting in line all night) draw- 
ing their money out of perfectly solid banks 
and trust companies is a good illustration of the 
power of fear to bring about a financial panic, 
even in the midst of prosperity. There was 
absolutely no real cause for this panic which, 
for a time, played such havoc in the financial 
world. It was started by gamblers and pro- 
moters, who were posing as bankers ; men who 
used sacred trust assets to rig the stock mar- 
ket, and to promote their own schemes gen- 
erally. This financial storm came out of a clear 



FEAR, CURSE OF THE RACE 249 

sky, and when we were enjoying unusual pros- 
perity. Capital was well employed ; compara- 
tively few people were out of work in the 
entire country. Almost any one, with any sort 
of ability, who was willing' to work, could find 
employment. There was no extended economic 
disturbance anywhere, and the business of our 
marvellous country was never in better con- 
dition. 

The moment a distrust is expressed by a 
few leading financiers in a town, weaker, less 
acute minds naturally magnify their fears and 
spread their doubts until the whole community 
is aflFected. Then the panic contagion trickles 
through the masses until we hear hard times 
talked about by the day laborer, discussed 
everywhere, in the cars, on the streets, in the 
saloons, and the imagination pictures multi- 
tudes out of work and hungry. 

In other words, the mind is set toward the 
things people expect and believe are coming, 
and, of course, this tends to bring them about. 
If they would stop talking down and would 
talk up, they could arrest these mental hard- 
time panics, as confidence is almost omnip- 
otent. Of course panics often have a real 
cause — as the shortage of crops — but even then 
they are exaggerated very greatly by fear, 



250 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

which always predicts infinitely worse condi- 
tions than actually materialize^ 

What sufferers many of us are for fear of 
the criticism and ridicule of others! How 
many people live in terror of Mrs. Grundy, 
or what people will think ! Every step they take 
in life they suffer from fear of what others 
will say. Many people are more afraid of ridi- 
cule than almost anything else. Oh, how many 
victims fear has put into the grave! It has 
driven people into all sorts of crime through 
unbalancing the mind. It has caused terrible 
tragedies in human life. 

One pathetic case is that of an Indiana 
farmer who was asked to come to the office of 
his friend, a physician, supposedly for a 
friendly purpose. He found the members of 
the lunacy board there to inquire into his 
sanity. " 

" My God, John ! " he exclaimed, looking 
at his friend, " would you send me to the mad- 
house ? " After this exclamation he became 
speechless, then unconscious, half paralyzed, 
and died in a few hours. 

A Dutch painter went into a room filled with 
skeletons and other anatomical subjects, in or- 
der to make sketches for a painting. He was 
weary, and fell asleep. Suddenly he was 



FEAR, CURSE OF THE RACE 251 

aroused by an earthquake shock. The awful 
picture of shaking skeletons that confronted 
him on awakening so terrified the painter that 
he threw himself out of a window, and, al- 
though he received no physical injury, he died 
of a nervous tremor. 

There are many instances of soldiers who 
have died of fright because they thought they 
had been fatally shot, when the bullets or shells 
had not even penetrated the body. 

Dr. William E. Parker, of New Orleans, 
says he was once asked to attend a big negro 
who had been taken to the hospital in an am- 
bulance. The students in charge of the ambu- 
lance had frightened the man by telling him 
that he had been mortally wounded by the 
bullet which had struck him during a fight. 
Although this negro was big, robust, and black, 
yet he became almost white with fear, and 
" the convulsive tremors that shook him from 
time to time revealed a state of collapse that 
might end in death at any time." Investigation 
showed that there had been no outward flow 
of blood, but that the negro had been told by 
the students that there might be a fatal inter- 
nal hemorrhage. He knew he had been hit, for 
he had seen the hole made by the bullet in his 
clothing, and his fear increased rather than 



252 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

diminished. Examination revealed the fact 
that the bullet had not entered his body at all. 
It had struck a button and flattened out, and 
when his clothing was removed it dropped to 
the floor. When the doctor held up the flat- 
tened bullet for the negro to see, he was in a 
state of collapse. In an instant the blood re- 
turned to his face, the pulse and the tempera- 
ture quickly became normal, a grateful sparkle 
lit up the almost glassy eyeballs, and the broad- 
est possible grin spread over the face of the 
erstwhile dying man. 

The negro got down from the table and, 
after apologizing for the trouble he had given, 
walked away in perfect health, although only 
a few minutes before he had been very near 
death. 

It is well known that when a man's foot is 
caught in what is called a " frog in the switch " 
of a railroad track so that he cannot withdraw 
it, and he realizes that a train is rushing upon 
him with no possibility of his escaping, the 
terror of impending death from the approach- 
ing train so poisons his blood that, even though 
he is rescued, death usually results. 

Courage should be taught in the schools, 
because everything that men strive for — suc- 
cess and happiness — are dependent upon it. 



FEAR, CURSE OF THE RACE 253 

Then, again, it enhances tremendously the 
power of all the other mental faculties. Cour- 
age compensates for many defects and weak- 
nesses. 

A man who is filled with fear is not a real 
man. He is a puppet, a mannikin, an apology 
of a man. 

Quit fearing things that may never happen, 
just as you would quit any bad practice which 
has caused you suffering. Fill your mind 
with courage, hope, and confidence. 

Do not wait until fear thoughts become in- 
trenched in your mind and your imagination. 
Do not dwell upon them. Apply the antidote 
instantly, and the enemies will flee. There is 
no fear so great or intrenched so deeply in the 
mind that it cannot be neutralized or entirely 
eradicated by its opposite. The opposite sug- 
gestion will kill it. 

Once Dr. Chalmers was riding on a stage- 
coach beside the driver, and he noticed that 
John kept hitting the off leader a severe 
crack with his whip. When he asked him why 
he did this, John answered : " Away yonder 
there is a white stone ; that off leader is afraid 
of that stone; so by the crack of my whip 
and the pain in his legs I w'ant to get his idea 
off from it." Dr. Chalmers went home, elabo- 



254 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

rated the idea, and wrote " The Expulsive 
Power of a New Affection." You must drive 
out fear by putting a new idea into the mind. 

Fear, in any of its expressions, like worry 
or anxiety, cannot live an instant in your mind 
in the presence of the thought, the image of 
courage, fearlessness, confidence, hope, self- 
assurance, self-reliance. Fear is a consciousness 
of weakness. It is only when you doubt your 
ability to cope with the thing you dread that 
fear is possible. Fear of disease, even, comes 
from a consciousness that you will not be able 
to successfully combat it. 

Napoleon used to visit the plague hospitals 
even when the physicians dreaded to go, and 
actually put his hands upon the plague-stricken 
patients. He said the man who was not afraid 
could vanquish the plague. 

Dr. Tuke, in his splendid book, " Influence 
of the Mind Upon the Body," says that many 
diseases are produced by fear, in its' various 
forms. " Insanity, idiocy, paralysis of various 
muscles and organs, profuse perspirations, 
cholerina, jaundice, turning of the hair gray 
in a short time, baldness, sudden decay of the 
teeth, nervous shock followed by fatal anaemia, 
uterine troubles, malformation of embryo 
through the mother, skin disease — such as 



FEAR, CURSE OF THE RACE 255 

erysipelas, eczema, and many other diseases," 
he declares, " are produced by these terrible 
health enemies." 

He further says that " when yellow fever, 
cholera, smallpox, diphtheria, and other malig- 
nant diseases obtain a footing in a community, 
hundreds and thousands of people fall victims 
to their mental conditions, which invite the at- 
tack (by destroying the resisting and protect- 
ing power of the body) and insure its fatality." 

During an epidemic of a dreaded contagious 
disease, people who are especially susceptible 
and full of fear become panic-stricken through 
the cumulative effect of hearing the subject 
talked about and discussed on every hand and 
the vivid pictures which come from reading 
the newspapers. Their minds (as in the case 
of yellow fever) become full of images of the 
disease, of its symptoms — black vomit, delir- 
ium, — and of death, mourning, and funerals. 

Dr. W. H. Holcomb, an authority upon con- 
tagious diseases, gives it as his opinion that, 
in a case of extreme fear, no microbes or bac- 
teria are needed to produce an outburst of 
yellow fever. Fear itself is a contagious dis- 
ease. It needs no speech or sign to propagate 
it. It passes from one to another with light- 
ning speed, he says. Thus, malignant influ- 



256 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

ences may be cast around us by even our best 
friends and would-be helpers. 

Dr. Holcomb refers to an extensive epi- 
demic of fear throughout the Southern States, 
in 1888, when yellow fever was in Jackson- 
ville, Fla. This mental malady, he says, visited 
all the little towns and villages in the South. 
There was exhibited on a small scale in those 
localities that same principle of terror which is 
manifested in a burning theatre, on a sinking 
ship, or in a stampeded army, when brave men 
suddenly become cowards, wise men fools, and 
merciful men brutes. Truly, something ought 
to be done for the moral treatment of yellow 
fever. 

A noted authority says that in the case of 
pulmonary consumption we are now witness- 
ing a non-contagious disease in the very 
process of transformation into a contagious 
disease through centuries of fear, worry, and 
terror. There is no doubt that multitudes of 
people have developed this dreaded disease 
mentally from the very deterioration in the 
body caused by the constant presence of terror 
in the mind. Dr. Loomis actually classifies 
tuberculosis among the miasmatic contagious 
diseases — fear will do the rest. 

The recent cholera epidemic in Russia gave 



FEAR, CURSE OF THE RACE 257 

a remarkable instance of the paralyzing effect 
of fright or terror upon people, especially the 
ignorant classes. ]\Iany persons who were 
taken to the hospitals apparently affected 
with all the characteristic symptoms of the dis- 
ease, were found, upon examination, to be suf- 
fering from nothing whatever except fear. 
There was not in reality a single physical indi- 
cation of the disease itself. The prefect of St. 
Petersburg was obliged to issue a proclamation 
to allay the fear panic. Even in cases of real 
cholera, persons died in fifteen minutes after 
contracting the disease. There is no doubt that 
the dread of it increased the fatality of the 
disease, and hastened the end by destroying 
or paralyzing the natural resisting power of 
the body. 

The sacred books of all nations, except the 
Chinese, give much prominence to the motive 
of fear. It has been used for spiritual control, 
even as it has been, time out of mind, for dis- 
cipline in the domestic circle. 

Much of our so-called " Christianity " has 
been merely nominal ; superstitions of pagan 
Europe have intermingled with the religious 
teachings of Christendom, the fear motive be- 
ing thus so emphasized as to terrorize the com- 
mon mind. 



258 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

Think of the terrible sugg-estions which the 
old-time preacher put into the minds of his 
flock through his sermons on eternal punish- 
ment and the unpardonable sin. Think of pro- 
jecting such horrible pictures upon the mind 
of a child! 

The happiness of vast multitudes of people 
has been ruined by the fear of punishment after 
death. I have seen mothers made miserable 
for many years because their sons or daugh- 
ters could not accept the doctrine of eternal 
punishment ; could not believe that the Creator 
would be ultimately foiled in His effort to 
bring His own children into harmony and hap- 
piness. 

Who can ever estimate the suflfering, the 
anxiety, the baseless remorse, which the old 
doctrines of everlasting punishment and hell 
fire caused among the early Puritans and their 
descendants? Doubtless the old-time clergy- 
men honestly believed they were justified in 
using the fear club as a check to crime, and no 
doubt many people have been kept from com- 
mitting great offences through fear of eternal 
punishment; but who can ever estimate the 
harm, the awful suffering, which these frightful 
suggestions have caused good people? If the 
Church in all ages had put the same emphasis 



FEAR, CURSE OF THE RACE 259 

upon the power of love to reform and to re- 
generate as it has upon the awful consequences 
of sin, the world would be much further ad- 
vanced to-day and the race would be free from 
its worst fetter, its greatest enemy — Fear. 

Most of us are haunted by fear of some- 
thing great or small, either in the seen or the 
unseen world. Millions are tied down by all 
kinds of foolish superstitions ; we are still ham- 
pered by traditions, by " bogies " and fears, by 
myths of good luck and bad luck, that have 
been handed down from generation to genera- 
tion. We are still the slaves of ideas born of 
ignorance, and that have long ago been swept 
aside by education and science as the baseless 
figments of a crude civilization or utter sav- 
agery. 

Many, even, who affect to laugh at silly 
superstitions, are unconsciously influenced by 
them. How many intelligent people, for in- 
stance, are affected by the superstitions about 
Friday and the number thirteen! It does not 
seem possible that a child ten years old can 
be so silly as to believe that there is any power 
in mere figures to harm him, yet mature men 
and women dread them as some tangible evil 
thing. Some hotels have no room or suite of 
that number, because they find them unrent- 



26o PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

able, and many builders will not allow their 
houses to be so numbered. They use twelve 
and a half instead. 

Think of an inanimate sign, or mechanical 
figures, which could not even move themselves 
a hairbreadth in eons of time, think of their 
moving human beings or having anything 
whatever to do with their fate ! If the number 
thirteen can influence a human being, how does 
it do it? There can be no effect without a 
cause. Can these figures move? Is there any 
life, any force in them? Can they cause any- 
thing? Do they know anything? Is there any 
intelligence in them? Did any one ever see 
anything that they have accomplished ? 

Actors and singers, as a class, are particu- 
larly noted for their superstitions. An amusing 
instance of their slavish subservience to the 
" 13 " superstition occurred recently in New 
York. 

Signor Campanini, the Italian director of the 
Manhattan Opera House, with a number of 
grand opera " stars," arrived in New York 
harbor aboard the North German Lloyd 
steamer, Kaiser Wilhehn dcr Grosse, on Octo- 
ber 13th. In spite of the pleadings of Oscar 
Hammerstein, impresario of the Manhattan 
Opera House, neither the director nor any of 



FEAR, CURSE OF THE RACE 261 

the singers could be persuaded to land, be- 
cause, they said, they dared not take the 
chance of having bad luck by landing on 
the thirteenth, 

" It is curious, no doubt," Campanini said to 
an interviewer, " but most Italians and all 
artists avoid doing anything important on the 
thirteenth of the month. Had I landed last 
night I should have been most unhappy. So 
would my wife [Eva Tetrazzini]. We would 
have feared for the success of the Manhattan 
opera season. Not that we feel ourselves to be 
the greatest element of success of the company, 
but some dire catastrophe might come to the 
company through us. Feeling thus, I would not 
have braved the hoodoo of landing on October 
13th for anything." 

What possible power can an arbitrary day 
of the week have upon any human being? The 
day we call Friday is a mere mechanical divi- 
sion of time, a mere arbitrary name of the 
sixth day of the week, given it by man for his 
own convenience. Is there any intelligence in 
the word Friday, any brain, force, or life 
there? Then, if not, how can it cause any 
disaster to your enterprises? Nevertheless, the 
superstition of " Unlucky Friday " has a pow- 
erful influence upon multitudes of lives. There 



262 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

are thousands of men and women who would 
never think of starting on a journey or of 
beginning an important undertaking on this 
day. 

Then there are others who are slaves to the 
clairvoyant fortune-tellers. Think of the thou- 
sands of people who are made wretchedly un- 
happy and lose courage and heart because of 
the cruel predictions of these ignorant people ! 
I know some very intelligent men and women 
who live under the domination of these fortune 
quacks. They undertake nothing of importance 
without consulting the astrologer or clair- 
voyant. If they lose anything, they immediately 
go to these people for advice. 

Think of the influence of being told that 
some misfortune will overtake one at a certain 
age, that he will lose his wife and children at 
a certain time, or that he will die at the age 
of forty ! 

No wonder that many of these things come 
to pass, because it is a scientific law of thought 
that what we greatly fear tends to come to us. 

When Lord Byron was a boy, he was told 
by a fortune-teller that he would die in the 
thirty-seventh year of his age. The thought 
haunted him, and when he became ill during 
that year he said there was no hope of his 



FEAR, CURSE OF THE RACE 263 

recovery, that it was destined he should die 
within that year. This conviction destroyed his 
power of disease resistance, and he succumbed 
to the malady from which he was suffering. 
Only recently a New York man committed 
suicide because his horoscope warned him of 
three fatal days in his life — the thirteenth, the 
twenty-seventh, and the thirtieth of a certain 
month. 

It is impossible to convince children who 
have had colored mammies for nurses that 
there are not such things as ghosts. They peo- 
ple the darkness with all sorts of hobgoblins, 
and think the " Bogey Man " will spirit them 
away if they dare go into a dark place alone. 
Many white people of the South are saturated 
with superstition absorbed from their colored 
mammies. 

A volume could be filled with the silly and 
ignorant superstitions that fetter and hold 
down not only savage peoples and the unedu- 
cated of the higher races, but also millions of 
the intelligent and educated all over the world. 
Superstition has always and everywhere ac- 
companied ignorance ; the more ignorant a 
people, the more superstitious they are ; and the 
more enlightened and educated they become, 
the freer they are from all superstitious ideas. 



264 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

All errors die hard, but the school and the 
college, the periodical and the newspaper of 
to-day are burying-grounds for vast numbers 
of superstitions. When a young student begins 
to think for himself, to get his eyes open, he 
associates his old fears and superstitions with 
ignorance and is ashamed to be influenced by 
them any longer. 

The best of all cures for superstition or fear 
is the knowledge that it has no reality, but is 
only a creature of the imagination, a picture 
drawn by a morbid mind. The perfectly healthy 
mind knows no fear. 

If fear, in all its phases, could be removed 
from the human mind, civilization would go 
forward by leaps and bounds. It is this ghastly 
spectre that is holding many people down. It 
causes more suffering, more loss, more mis- 
fortune, more failure, and makes more real 
slaves than any actual factor in human life. 
Yet, notwithstanding the terrible grip this 
monster has upon human life, it can be con- 
quered, thrust out of our lives absolutely, as 
easily as any other mental foe or enemy of 
our peace and happiness. 

The new philosophy teaches us that we are 
practically the masters of our own destiny ; 
that we can, by counter suggestions, kill any 



FEAR, CURSE OF THE RACE 265 

of our prosperity or happiness enemies. It 
teaches us that there is no great power in 
the universe that sends misfortunes, but, on 
the contrary, that there is a great creative 
Power which holds us, shields us, and be- 
stows on us all the bounty and prosperity, 
all the happiness and blessedness we open 
our minds to receive. 

The coming man will not be fettered or held 
down by superstitions of any kind ; he will have 
no fear, because he will have the knowledge 
which shows him that all fears are but ghosts, 
without entity — mere phantoms, creations of a 
disordered imagination, children of ignorance. 



XV. SELF-CONTROL VS. THE 
EXPLOSIVE PASSIONS 



XV. SELF-CONTROL VS. 
EXPLOSIVE PASSIONS 



THE 




ROVE to me," says Mrs. Oli- 
phant, " that you can control 
yourself, and I'll say you're 
an educated man ; and with- 
out this, all other education 
is good for next to nothing." 
No one can expect to ac- 
complish anything very great when he is not 
king of himself. 

The lack of self-control has ruined multi- 
tudes of men with high ambition, rare ability, 
and great education, men of immense promise 
in every way. 

Every day the papers tell us of those who, 
in a fit of anger, have struck the fatal blow 
or fired the cruel shot that has cost them a 
friend and their own lives or liberty. 

Ask the wretched victims in our state prisons 
and in our penitentiaries what a hot temper 
has cost them. How many of these unfortu- 
nates have lost their liberty for life through a 
fit of hot temper which may have lasted but a 
minute ! The cruel shot was fired, the trigger 
was pulled in an instant, but the friend re- 
turned never, the crime could not be undone. 

269 



270 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

Oh, the tragedies that have been enacted 
when the blood was hot with anger ! 

Many a man has lost a good position, has 
sacrificed the opportunity of a lifetime in a 
fit of bad temper. He has thrown away in the 
anger of a moment, perhaps, the work and 
experience of years in climbing to his position. 

I know a very able editor who has occupied 
splendid positions on the best and greatest 
dailies in the country. He is a forceful, vigor- 
ous, masterful writer on a great variety of sub- 
jects, a fine historian, and a warm, tender- 
hearted man, who will do anything for any 
one in need, and yet he is almost a total 
failure because of his explosive temper. He 
does riot hesitate in the heat of a moment's 
anger to walk out of a position which it has 
taken him years to get. This man is conscious 
of ability second to none, yet he has drifted 
from pillar to post, hardly able to support his 
family, and he must go through life conscious 
that he is the slave of a bad temper. 

Everywhere we see victims of an uncon- 
trolled temper tripping themselves up, losing 
in a few moments, perhaps, all they have 
gained in months, or maybe in a lifetime. They 
are continually climbing and dropping back- 
ward. 



THE EXPLOSIVE PASSIONS 271 

I know several old men whose whole ca- 
reers have been crippled by their hot tempers. 
They could not refrain from giving people 
with whom they had differences " a piece of 
their mind." No matter how adversely it af- 
fected their own interests, or what was at 
stake, they would let their tongues and tem- 
pers have full sway. 

A pretty costly business, this, of giving an- 
other person " a piece of your mind " when 
your temper is up ! 

I know a very able business man who has 
practically ruined his reputation and his busi- 
ness by his passion for telling people what he 
thinks when he gets angry with them. When 
his temper is aroused there is nothing too mean 
or contemptible for him to say. He calls them 
all sorts of names. He raves without reason 
or sense. He drives his employees away from 
him. It is almost impossible for him to keep 
any one with any spirit or ability. 

I have seen people in the grip of passion or 
anger act more like demons than human be- 
ings. I recall one man who, when possessed by 
one of these terrible fits of anger, would smash 
everything he could lay his hands on, and pour 
forth a volley of the vilest abuse upon any one 
who got in his way or attempted to restrain 



272 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

him. I have seen him almost kill animals in 
his rage by striking them with clubs or fence 
sticks. His eyes would glare like a madman's 
and people who knew him would run for their 
lives. He was for the time a maniac and did 
not seem to have the slightest idea of what he 
was doing when this demon of anger had pos- 
session of him. After his passion storm had 
subsided, although a robust man, he would be 
completely exhausted for a long time. 

A man in a fit of uncontrolled passion is 
really temporarily insane. He is under control 
of the demon in him. No man is sane when 
he cannot completely control his acts. While in 
that condition he is liable to do things which 
he would regret all the rest of his life. Many a 
man has been obliged to look back over a 
scarred discordant life, a life filled with un- 
utterable mortifications and humiliations be- 
cause of a hot temper, because he did not learn 
to control himself. 

What writer, what artist could ever depict 
the havoc which the whole brood of evil pas- 
sions — anger, jealousy, revenge, and hatred — 
have played in human lives. Just think of the 
effect on one's character of harboring for 
many years the determination, the passion to 
get square with an imagined enemy, and of 



THE EXPLOSIVE PASSIONS 273 

waiting for the opportunity to wreak ven- 
geance upon some one. 

Think how much a violent explosion of tem- 
per takes out of one's entire system, mental 
and physical ! Much more than many weeks of 
hard work when in a normal condition. And 
then picture, if you can, the terrible after suf- 
fering, the humiliation of it all, the remorse 
and chagrin, the loss of self-respect, the shock 
to one's finer sensibilities, when one comes to 
himself and realizes what has happened ! 

A fit of anger may work greater damage 
to the body and character than a drunken 
bout. Hatred may leave worse scars upon a 
clean life than the bottle. Jealousy, envy, an- 
ger, uncontrolled grief may do more to wreck 
the physical life than many years of excessive 
smoking. Anxiety, fretting, and scolding may 
instil a more subtle poison into the system than 
the cigarette. 

" Many a soul is in a bad condition to-day 
because of the fire of anger which recently 
burned there." 

There is no doubt that an uncontrolled tem- 
per shortens many lives. Some people fly into 
such a rage that they will tremble for hours 
afterwards and be wholly unfitted for business 
or work. 



274 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

I have known a whole family completely to 
upset their physical conditions and make them- 
selves ill by a violent quarrel. They would 
almost tear one another to pieces by their ex- 
plosive passions. In a shcit time their faces 
were transformed. You could see the demons 
of passion fighting there. We all know that 
such quarrelling, as well as backbiting, twit- 
ting, denunciation, and criticism can produce 
but one result, and that it would be simply im- 
possible for such causes to produce harmony. 

How many people at the mercy of an uncon- 
trolled passion have slain members of their own 
family or friends whom ten minutes before 
nothing could have induced them to harm! 
Naturally good people commit fiendish crimes 
when blinded by passion. 

I know a woman who allows herself to be so 
swept away by a storm of rage that after it has 
subsided she is completely exhausted ; for days 
she is as weak as a child and looks as though 
she had been through some terrible ordeal. A 
violent headache, or some other form of physi- 
cal disturbance, invariably follows. 

Physicians well know how violent fits of 
jealousy tear the nervous system to pieces so 
that the victim is often a complete wreck for 
a long time. I have seen a woman so trans- 



THE EXPLOSIVE PASSIONS 275 

formed in a single year by the domination of 
this terrible demon in the mind that her friends 
scarcely knew her. 

When jealousy once gets possession of a per- 
son it changes and colors the whole outlook 
upon life. Everything takes on the hue of this 
consuming passion. The reasoning faculties are 
paralyzed, and the victim is completely within 
the clutches of this thought fiend. Even the 
brain structure is changed by the harboring of 
this fearful mental foe. 

Every little while we see accounts of people 
who have dropped dead in a fit of passion. 
The nervous shock of sudden and violent rage, 
no matter what the cause, is so great that it 
will sometimes stop the action of the heart, 
especially if that organ is weak. Violent 
paroxysms of anger have often produced apo- 
plexy. A temper storm raging through the 
brain develops rank poison and leaves all 
sorts of devastation behind. 

We often suffer tortures from the humilia- 
tion and loss of self-respect we bring upon our- 
selves by indulgence in fits of anger, in jeal- 
ousy, hatred, or revenge ; but we do not realize 
the permanent damage, the irreparable injury, 
we inflict upon our entire physical and mental 
being. 



276 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

An uncontrolled passion in the mind actually 
changes the chemical composition of the vari- 
ous secretions of the body, developing deadly 
poisons. Because the mental forces are silent, 
we do not realize how tremendously power- 
ful they are. We have been so accustomed to 
think of disease and all forms of physical ills 
as the result of some derangement in the body, 
and have associated their cure with drugs or 
other remedies, that it is difficult for us to look 
upon them as caused by mental disturbances or 
discords. 

It is well known that a violent fit of temper 
affects the heart instantly, and psychophysi- 
cists have discovered the presence of poison in 
the blood immediately after the mental storm 
has passed. This explains why we feel so de- 
pressed, so exhausted and nervous after all 
storms of passion, fear, worry, jealousy, or 
revenge have swept through the mind. It is 
because of the mental poison and other harm- 
ful secretions they have left in the brain and 
blood. 

There is no constitution so strong but it will 
ultimately succumb to the constant racking and 
twisting of the nerve centres caused by an 
uncontrolled temper. Every time you become 
angry you reverse all of the normal, mental, 



THE EXPLOSIVE PASSIONS 277 

and physical processes. Everything in you re- 
bels against passion storms ; every mental fac- 
ulty protests against their abuse. 

If people only realized what havoc indul- 
gence in hot temper plays in their delicate 
nervous structure, if they could only see with 
the physical eyes the damage done, as they can 
see what follows in the wake of a tornado, 
they would not dare to get angry. 

The poison generated by angry passions cir- 
culating in the blood, affects the centres of life 
throughout the whole body. The delicate cells 
of the brain and nerves and all of the internal 
organs, are deteriorated by the poison-vitiated 
blood. 

One reason why so many people either have 
poor or indifferent health is because the cell 
life is continually starved and dwarfed by 
vitiated blood. No one can have abundant, 
abounding life, a superb vitality ; can reach his 
greatest efficiency, when this mental poisoning 
process is constantly going on in his system. 

Nothing else racks and wrenches the deli- 
cate nervous system more than fits of uncon- 
trolled temper, jealousy, or raging passion of 
any sort. The brain and nervous mechanism 
were intended to run quietly, smoothly, har- 
moniously, and when so run they are capable 



278 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

of an enormous output in good work and hap- 
piness. But, like a delicate piece of material 
machinery, when overspeeded or not properly 
oiled, or when run without a balance wheel to 
steady their motion, they will very quickly 
shake themselves to pieces. 

The man who scolds and frets and fumes 
and lets his temper get the better of him, little 
realizes what havoc his humor is playing inside 
of him, or how he is breaking down his health 
and shortening his life. 

There is something wrong in the education, 
the training of the man who cannot control 
himself, who has to confess that he is a man 
part of the time only, that the rest of the time 
he is a brute ; that often the beast in him is 
loose and runs riot in his mental kingdom and 
does what it will until he can get control of 
himself again. 

Zopyrus, the physiognomist, said : " Soc- 
rates' features showed that he was stupid, 
brutal, sensual, and addicted to drunkenness." 
Socrates upheld the analysis by saying : " By 
nature I am addicted to all these sins, and they 
were only restrained and vanquished by the 
continual practice of virtue." 

The Creator has implanted in every man a 
divine power that is more than a match for his 



THE EXPLOSIVE PASSIONS 279 

worst passion, for his most vicious trait. If he 
will only develop and use this power he need 
not be the slave of any vice. 

Shakespeare says : " Assume a virtue if you 
have it not." 

Emerson also says, in eflfect : " The virtue = 
you would like to have, assume it as already 
yours, appropriate it, enter into the part and 
live the character just as the great actor is 
absorbed in the character of the part he plays." 
No matter how great your weakness or how 
much you may regret it, assume steadily and 
persistently its opposite until you acquire the 
habit of holding that thought, or of living the 
thing, not in its weakness, but in its wholeness, 
in its entirety. Hold the ideal of an efficient 
faculty or quality, not of a marred or deficient 
one. The way to reach or to attain to anything 
is to bend oneself toward it with all one's 
might, and we approximate it just in propor- 
tion to the intensity and the persistency of our 
eflfort to attain it. 

If you are inclined to storm and rage, or if' 
you " fly all to pieces " over the least annoy- 
ance, do not waste your time regretting this 
weakness, and telling everybody that you can- 
not help it. Just assume the calm, deliberate, 
quiet, balanced composure which characterizes 



28o PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

your ideal person in that respect. Persuade 
yourself that you are not hot-tempered, ner- 
vous, or excitable, that you can control your- 
self ; that you are well balanced; that you do 
not fly off at a tangent at every little annoy- 
ance. You will be amazed to see how the per- 
petual holding of this serene, calm, quiet atti- 
tude will help you to become like your thought. 
No matter what comes up, no matter how 
annoying, or exasperating things may be, or 
how excited or disturbed other people around 
you may be, you will not be thrown off your 
centre. All we are or ever have been or ever 
will be comes from the quality and force of 
our thinking. 

A bad temper is largely the result of false 
pride, selfishness, and cheap vanity, and no 
man who is worthy the name will continue to 
be governed by it. There is nothing manly or 
noble in the quality which lets loose the " dogs 
of war," which in an instant may make ene- 
mies of our best friends. 

We all know how hard it is to control our 
feelings and our words when the blood flows 
hot through the frenzied brain, but we also 
know how dangerous, how fatal it is to become 
slaves to temper. It not only ruins the disposi- 
tion and cripples efficiency, but it is also very 



THE EXPLOSIVE PASSIONS 281 

humiliating; for a man who cannot control 
his own acts has to acknowledge that he is 
not his own master. 

It is dangerous for you even for a few min- 
utes to get down off the throne of your reason 
and let the beast in you reign. Many a person 
has become permanently insane by the growth 
of the habit of losing his temper. 

Think of a man who was intended to be ab- 
solutely master of all the forces of the universe, 
stepping down off the throne of his reason and 
admitting that he is not a man for the time 
being, confessing his inability to control his 
own acts, allowing himself to do the mean and 
low things, to say the cruel words that hurt 
and sting, to throw the hot javelin of sarcasm 
into the mind of a perfectly innocent person ! 
Think of that madness which makes a man 
strike down his best friend, or cut him to the 
quick with the cruel word ! 

Anger is temporary insanity. A man must 
be insane when he is in the clutches of a demon 
that has no regard for life or reputation, a 
demon which would bid him kill his best 
friend without an instant's hesitation. 

The child learns by experience to avoid 
touching hot things that will burn him, sharj) 
things that will cut him ; but many of us adults 



282 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

never learn to avoid the hot temper which sears 
and gives us such intense suffering, sometimes 
for days and weeks. 

The man who has learned the secret of right 
thinking and self-control knows just as well 
how to protect himself from his mental enemies 
as his physical ones. He knows that when the 
brain is on fire with passion, it will not do to 
add more fuel by storming and raging, but will 
quietly apply an antidote which will put out the 
fire — the serenity thought, the thought of 
peace, quiet, and harmony. The opposite 
thought will very quickly antidote the flames. 
When a neighbor's house is on fire, we do 
not run with an oil-can to put out the flames ; 
we do not throw on kerosene, but an antidote. 
Yet when a child is on fire with passion we 
have been in the habit of trying to put out 
the fire by adding fuel to it. What misery, 
what crime, what untold suffering might be 
prevented by training children to self-control, 
by directing their thought into proper chan- 
nels! 

If we see a person who is mired in a swamp 
and desperately struggling to extricate himself, 
we run to his rescue without hesitation. We 
would not think of adding to his distress or 
danger by pushing him in deeper. But some- 



THE EXPLOSIVE PASSIONS 283 

how when a person is angered, instead of tr>^- 
ing to put out the fire of his passion, we only 
add fuel to the flames. Yet people who have 
bad tempers are often grateful to those who 
will help them to do what they are not able 
to do themselves, to control them and prevent 
them from saying and doing that which will 
give them much chagrin afterward. 

When next you see a person whose inflam- 
mable passion is just ready to explode, and 
you know that he is doing his best to hold him- 
self down, why not help him, instead of throw- 
ing on more inflammable material and starting 
the conflagration? 

By doing this, you will not only render him 
a great service, but you will also strengthen 
your own power of self-control. The man who 
cannot control himself is like a mariner with- 
out a compass — he is at the mercy of every 
wind that blows. Every storm of passion, every 
wave of irresponsible thought buffets him 
hither and thither, drives him out of his course, 
and makes it wellnigh impossible for him to 
reach the goal of his desires. 

Self-control is the very essence of character. 
To be able to look a man straight in the eye, 
calmly and deliberately, without the slightest 
rufile of temper under extreme provocation, 



284 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

gives a sense of power which nothing else can 
give. To feel that you are always, not some- 
times, master of yourself gives a dignity and 
strength to character, buttresses it, supports it 
on every side, as nothing else can. This is the 
culmination of thought mastery. 



XVI. GOOD CHEER— GOD'S 
MEDICINE 



XVI. GOOD CHEER— GOD'S 
MEDICINE 

Mirth is God's medicine, everybody ought to bathe 
in it. Grim care, moroseness, anxiety — all the rust of 
life — ought to be scoured oflF by the oil of mirth. — 
Oliver Wentjell Holmes. 

"Talk happiness. The world is sad enough without 
your woe." 




WOMAN in California, who, 
because of crushing sorrow, 
had fallen a victim to de- 
spondency, insomnia, and kin- 
dred ills, determined to throw 
off the gloom which was mak- 
ing life so heavy a burden to 
her, and established a rule that she would 
laugh at least three times a day, whether 
occasion presented or not. Accordingly, she 
trained herself to laugh heartily at the least 
provocation, and would retire to her room and 
make merry by herself. She was soon in ex- 
cellent health and buoyant spirits, and her 
home became a sunny, cheerful abode. 

If people only knew the medicinal power of 
laughter, of good cheer, of the constant un- 
repressed expression of joy and gladness, half 
the physicians would be out of work. 

287 



288 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

Did not Lycurgus set up the god of laughter 
in the Spartan eating-halls because he thought 
there was no sauce like laughter at meals ? 

Laughter is undoubtedly one of Nature's 
greatest tonics. It brings the disordered facul- 
ties and functions into harmony; it lubricates, 
the mental bearings and prevents the friction 
which monotonous, exacting business engen- 
ders. It is a divine gift bestowed upon us as a 
life-preserver, a health-promoter, a joy-gener- 
ator, a success-maker. 

Laughter, like an air cushion, eases you over 
the jolts and the hard places on life's highway. 
Laughter is always healthy. It tends to bring 
every abnormal condition back to the normal. 
It is a panacea for heartaches, for life's bruises. 
It is a life prolonger. People who keep them- 
selves in physical and mental harmony through 
hearty laughter are likely to live longer than 
those who take life too seriously. 

In order to become normal, the natural fun- 
loving forces within us must be released. 
Laughter is one form of exercise which sets 
them free, rescues men from the " blues." 

Somewhere I have read of a man whose 
" laughing muscles " were so paralyzed that 
his laughter sounded like a voice from the 
tombs. American life is so serious that many 



GOOD CHEER 289 

men lose their power to laugh. They can force 
a little sepulchral chuckle, but the genuine side- 
shaking laughter is almost a stranger to their 
experience. They are in such a serious chase 
after the dollar, their life is so strenuous, so 
given to ^viv;heming and planning, that they 
do not have much time to laugh. They do 
not know the medicinal value there is in the 
habit of laughter, how it clears the cobwebs 
out of the brain, disposes of the fangs of worry 
and anxiety and business pressure, takes the 
mind off the grind of things, removes friction, 
and helps to make life worth while. 

To people who have lost the laughing habit 
I would say : Lock yourself in your room and 
practise smiling. Smile at your pictures, fur- 
niture, looking-glass, anything, just so the stiff 
muscles are brought into play again. 

In a corner of his desk Lincoln kept a copy 
of the latest humorous iclork, and it was his 
habit when fatigued, annoyed, or depressed, to 
take this up and read a chapter for relief. 
Humor, whether clean, sensible wit or sheer 
nonsense — whatever provokes t tnth and makes 
a man jollier — is a gift from heaven. 

Laughter is a very important element in a 
successful career. Many a man who could have 
been a success sleeps in a failure's grave to- 



290 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

day because he took life too seriously. He 
poisoned the atmosphere about him, so that it 
became unhealthy, and paralyzed his own 
powers. 

We often hear people, especially delicate 
women who have nervous dyspepr -" say they 
do not understand how it is that they can go 
out to late suppers or banquets and eat heartily 
all sorts of incongruous food without feeling 
any inconvenience afterward. 

They do not realize that it is due to the 
change in the mental attitude. They have had 
a good time; they have enjoyed themselves. 
The lively conversation, the jokes which caused 
them to laugh heartily, the bright, cheerful en- 
vironment, completely changed their mental 
attitude, and of course these conditions were 
reflected in the digestion and every other part 
of the system, for lar^hter and good cheer are 
enemies of dyspep'O •. Anything which will 
divert the dyspeptic's mind from his ailments 
will improve his digestion. When they were at 
home worryini^ over their health, swallowing a 
little dyspe;''Cuewith every mouthful of food, 
of course these women could not assimilate 
what they ate. But when they were having a 
jolly good time they forgot their ailments, and 
were surprised afterward to find that they had 



GOOD CHEER 291 

enjoyed their food and that it did not hurt 
them. The whole process is mental. 

Use the laugh-cure — the fun-cure — in the 
home. Throw away the drugs and save doc- 
tors' bills. 

" The power of cheerfulness to do good," 
says Dr. Sanderson, "... is not an artificial 
stimulus of the tissues, to be followed by reac- 
tion and greater waste, as is the case with many 
drugs ; but the effect of cheerfulness is an ac- 
tual life-giving influence throughout a normal 
channel, the results of which reach every part 
of the system. It brightens the eye, makes 
ruddy the countenance, brings elasticity to the 
step, and promotes all the inner force by which 
life is sustained. The blood circulates more 
freely, the oxygen comes to its home in the 
tissues, health is promoted and disease is ban- 
ished." 

There is no drug which can compete with 
cheerfulness. A jolly, whole-hearted, sunny 
physician is worth more than all the remedies 
in an apothecary shop. What magic we often 
see wrought by the arrival of the physician, 
especially when the patient is frightened and 
nervous. Discouragement, the hopeless expres- 
sion, are driven away by his reassuring, con- 
fident smile, and many times even severe pain 



292 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

is relieved by his mental uplift and encour- 
agement. 

How eagerly the patient watches the doc- 
tor's face for a ray of hope. No drug could 
work such magic as does that one encourag- 
ing look. 

A friend remembers how, as a boy, when the 
old family physician used to come to the home 
so full of life and joy and gladness, with sun- 
shine beaming from every pore, members of 
the family would feel absolutely ashamed to 
be sick, ashamed to think that God's work, 
which was made perfect, should need patch- 
ing up. 

" The whole atmosphere of the house," he 
said, " seemed to change the minute the doctor 
entered. His hearty laugh, ringing through the 
rooms, as he rubbed his hands before the fire 
on a cold winter day, and his mere presence, 
did us more good than pills or potions. Some- 
how, the very thought of his coming after we 
had sent for him seemed to drive away our 
troubles." 

One of the most successful physicians in 
Boston gives very little medicine. His merry 
face and cheerful disposition take the sting 
out of pain. He replaces despair with hope, dis- 
couragement with confidence and a cheerful 



GOOD CHEER 293 

reassurance, so that the sick feel a decided 
uplift in his presence and are filled with a 
stronger determination to get well. 

Too many of us dry up and become stale, 
uninteresting, and abnormal from lack of the 
development of the cheerful habit. There is no 
one thing which will do so much for the life, 
for health, for happiness, as the cultivation of 
the cheerful habit, the habit of flinging out 
one's joy and gladness everywhere, radiating 
good cheer. 

The constantly increasing success of the 
vaudeville playhouses and other places of 
amusement all over this country shows the tre- 
mendous demand in the human economy for 
fun. Most people do not appreciate that this 
demand must be met in some form or the char- 
acter will be warped and defective. 

What a complete revolution in your whole 
physical and mental being takes place after see- 
ing a really funny play ! You went to the play 
tired, jaded, worn out, discouraged. All your 
mental faculties were clogged with brain ash ; 
you could not think clearly. When you came 
home you were a new being. 

A business man, on returning home after 
a perplexing, exasj^crating, exhausting day's 
work, may experience the same thing. Romp- 



294 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

ing and playing with the children, spending 
a jolly evening with his family or friends, 
telling stories and cracking jokes, rest his 
jaded nerves and restore him to his normal 
condition. ' 

I have been as much refreshed by a good, 
hearty laugh, by listening to wholesome sto- 
ries and jokes, by spending an evening with 
friends and having a good time, as by a long, 
sound night's sleep ; and I look back upon such 
experiences as little vacations. 

Anything that will make a man new, that 
will clear the cobwebs of discouragement from 
his brain and drive away fear, care, and worry, 
is of practical value. 

We should not look upon fun and humor as 
transitory things, but as solid, lasting, perma- 
nent medicinal influences on the whole char- 
acter. 

Why should not having a good time form a 
part of our daily programme ? Why should not 
this enter into our great life-plan ? Why should 
we be serious and gloomy because we have to 
work for a living? 

There is a moral as well as healing influ- 
ence in things which amuse and make us 
enjoy life. No one was ever spoiled by good 
humor, but tens of thousands have been made 



GOOD CHEER 295 

better by it. Fun is a food as necessary fo the 
wholeness of man as bread. 

Who can estimate the good our great hu- 
morists have done the world in helping to drive 
away care and sorrow, in lightening burdens, 
in taking drudgery out of dreary occupations, 
in cheering the discouraged and the lonely? 

A writer known for his cheerful sayings 
received a letter from a lady, stating that one 
of his humorous poems had saved her life. 

Any one who has brought relief to distressed 
souls, who has lifted the burden from saddened, 
sorrowing hearts, has done as much good as 
any of those who have been civilization 
builders. 

Few of us really understand the full value 
of good cheer and laughter as physiological 
and psychological factors. An eminent French 
surgeon says that we ought to train children 
to habits of mirth. 

"Encourage your child to be merry and 
laugh aloud," he says. " A good hearty laugh 
expands the chest and makes the blood bound 
merrily along. Commend me to a good laugh 
— not to a little snickering laugh, but to one 
that will sound right through the house." 

We realize that it is very necessary to train 
the mind in business principles ; to train cer- 



296 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

tain faculties to do special things, but do not 
seem to think it necessary to cultivate the habit 
of cheerfulness. Yet not even an education is 
as necessary to the child as the formation of 
the cheerful habit. This ought to be regarded 
as the first essential of the preparation for life 
— the training of the mind toward sunshine ; 
the developing of every possibility of the cheer- 
ful faculties. 

The first duty we owe a child is to teach it 
to fling out its inborn gladness and joy with 
the same freedom and abandon as the bobolink 
does when it makes the meadow joyous with 
its song. Suppression of the fun-loving nature 
of a child means the suppression of its mental 
and moral faculties. Joy will go out of the heart 
of a child after a while if it is continually sup- 
pressed. Mothers who are constantly caution- 
ing the little ones not to do this or not to do 
that, telling them not to laugh or make a noise, 
until they lose their naturalness and become 
little old men and women, do not realize the 
harm they are doing. 

An eminent writer says : " Children without 
hilarity will never amount to much. Trees 
without blossoms will never bear fruit," 

There is an irrepressible longing for amuse- 
ment, for rollicking fun, in young people, and 



GOOD CHEER 297 

if these longings were more fully met in the 
home it would not be so difficult to keep the boy 
and girl under the parental roof. I always think 
there is something wrong when the father or 
the children are so very uneasy to get out of 
the house at night and to go off " somewhere " 
where they will have a good time. A happy, 
joyous home is a powerful magnet to child and 
man. The sacred memory of it has kept many 
a person from losing his self-respect, and from 
the commission of crime. 

Fun is the cheapest and best medicine in the 
world for your children as well as for your- 
self. Give it to them in good large doses. It will 
not only save you doctors' bills, but it will also 
help to make your children happier, and will 
improve their chances in life. We should not 
need half so many prisons, insane asylums, and 
almshouses if all children had a happy child- 
hood. 

The very fact that the instinct to play — the 
love of fun — is so imperious in the child, 
shows a great necessity in its nature which if 
suppressed will leave a famine in its life. 

A sunny, joyous, happy childhood is to the 
individual what a rich soil and genial sun are 
to the young plant. If the early conditions are 
not favorable, the plant becomes starved and 



298 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

stunted and the results cannot be corrected in 
the later trees. It is now or never with the 
plant. This is true with the human plant. A 
starved, suppressed, stunted childhood makes 
a dwarfed man. A joyful, happy, fun-loving 
environment develops powers, resources, and 
possibilities which would remain dormant in a 
cold, dull, repressing environment. 

How many lives are blank, dry, as uninter- 
esting as a desert because cheerfulness was 
crushed out of the child life; because the joys 
of childhood were never developed. Their 
young lives were suppressed and all that was 
sweet and juicy crushed out of them in their 
early years. 

Everywhere we see men and women discon- 
tented and unhappy because of the lack of play 
in their early life. When the young clay finally 
hardened it was unable to respond to a joyful 
environment. 

Happy recreation has a very subtle influence 
upon the mental faculties, which are empha- 
sized and heightened by it. How our courage 
is strengthened, our determination, our ambi- 
tion, our whole outlook on life changed by it. 
There seems to be a subtle fluid from humor 
and fun which penetrates the entire being, 
bathes all the mental faculties, and washes out 



GOOD CHEER 299 

the brain ash and debris from exhausted cere- 
brum and muscles. We have all experienced 
the transforming, refreshing, rejuvenating 
power of good, wholesome fun. 

Many people make anything like joy or hap- 
piness impossible by dwelling upon the dis- 
agreeable, the unfortunate, unlucky things of 
life. They always see the ugly, the crooked, 
the wrong side of things. 

I once lived in a clerg}nTian's family where 
I scarcely heard a person laugh in months. 
It seemed to be a part of the inmates' religion 
to wear long faces and to be sober-minded and 
solemn. They did not have much use for this 
world ; they seemed to be living for the world 
to come ; and whenever the minister heard me 
laugh, he would remind me that I had bet- 
ter be thinking of my " latter end," and pre- 
paring for the death which might come at any 
moment. Laughter was considered frivolous 
and worldly ; and as for playing in the house 
— it would not be tolerated for an instant. 

Melancholy, solemnity used to be regarded as 
a sign of spirituality, but it is now looked upon 
as the imprint of a morbid mind. There is no 
religion in it. True religion is full of hope, sun- 
shine, optimism, and cheerfulness. It is joyous 
and glad and beautiful. There is no Christian- 



300 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

ity in the ugly, the discordant, the sad. The 
reHgion which Christ taught was bright and 
beautiful. The sunshine, the " lilies of the 
field," the "birds of the air," the hills, the 
valleys, the trees, the mountains, the brooks — 
all things beautiful — were in His teaching. 
There was no cold, dry theology in it. It was 
just happy Christianity ! 

Cheerfulness is one of the great miracle- 
workers of the world. It reenforces the whole 
man, doubles and trebles his power, and gives 
new meaning to his life. No man is a failure 
until he has lost his cheerfulness, his optimistic 
outlook. The man who does his best and car- 
ries a smiling face and keeps cheerful in the 
midst of discouragements, when things go 
wrong and the way is dark and doubtful, is 
sure to win. 

" Laugh until I come back," was a noted 
clergyman's "good-by" salutation. It is a good 
one for us all. 



XVII. THE SUN-DIAL'S MOTTO 



XVII. THE SUN-DIAL'S MOTTO 




N a famous sun-dial it is 
written : " I record none but 
hours of sunshine." Every 
human life would be beauti- 
fied by making this a life 
motto. 

What a great thing it 
would be if we could only learn to wipe out 
of our memories forever everything unpleas- 
ant, everything which brings up bitter memo- 
ries and unfortunate associations and depress- 
ing, discouraging suggestions! If we could 
only keep the mind filled with beautiful 
thoughts which uplift and encourage, the 
efficiency of our lives would be multiplied. 

Are not some people so unfortunately con- 
stituted that they are unable to remember 
pleasant, agreeable things? When you meet 
them they always have some sad story to tell, 
something that has happened to them or is 
surely going to happen. They tell you about 
the accidents, narrow escapes, losses, and af- 
flictions they have had. The bright days and 
happy experiences they seldom mention. They 
recall the disagreeable, the ugly, the discord- 
ant. The rainy days make such an impression 

303 



304 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

upon their minds that they seem to think it 
rains about all of the time. 

There are others who do just the reverse. 
They always talk of the pleasant things, good 
times, and agreeable experiences of their lives. 
I know some of these people who have had all 
sorts of misfortunes, losses, sorrows, and yet 
they so seldom speak of them or refer to them, 
that you would think they never had had any- 
thing in their lives but good fortune, that they 
had never had any enemies, that everybody 
had been kind to them. These are the people 
who attract us, the people we love. 

The habit of turning one's sunny side 
toward others is a result of the practice of 
holding charitable, loving, cheerful thoughts 
perpetually in the mind ; while the gloomy, sar- 
castic, mean character is formed by harboring 
hard, uncharitable, unkind thoughts until the 
brain becomes set toward the dark, so that the 
life can only radiate gloom. 

Some people's minds are like a junk shop; 
they contain things of considerable value 
mixed with a great deal of rubbish. There is 
no system or order in them. These minds retain 
everything — good, bad, or indifferent. They 
can never bear to throw anything away, for 
fear it might be of service at some time, so 



THE SUN-DIAL'S MOTTO 305 

that their mental storehouses are clogged with 
all sorts of rubbish. If these people would only 
have a regular house-cleaning and throw away 
all the rubbish, everything of a doubtful value, 
and systematize and arrange what is left, they 
might amount to something; but no one can 
do good work with his mind full of discord 
and confusion. 

Get rid of the mental rubbish. Do not go 
through life burdened with non-essential, 
meaningless things. Everywhere we see people 
who are handicapped, doing everything to a 
great disadvantage, because they never will 
let go of an}'thing. They are like the over-care- 
ful housekeeper, who never throws anything 
away, for fear it may be of use in the future, 
and whose attic and woodshed, and every 
closet and corner in the house, are piled up 
with rubbish which " might be wanted some 
time." The practice of throwing away rubbish 
of all kinds is of inestimable value. 

Occasionally we come across minds that are 
like public cabs. Now you see in them a good- 
looking man or woman — a beautiful character ; 
a little later a drunkard or vicious woman. In 
other words, the cabman picks up the first 
customer he finds, not caring whether he is 
good or bad. So this order of mind picks up 



3o6 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

all sorts of ideas, good, bad, and indifferent, 
without selection or choice. It is like a sponge ; 
it absorbs everything that comes near it. It is 
impossible for such a mind to be clean, pure, 
free from enemy thoughts, conflicting thought 
currents, inharmonious vibrations or demoral- 
izing influences. 

One of the greatest accomplishments of the 
finest character is the ability to order his mind 
and to exclude from it all the enemy thoughts 
— thoughts that bring friction and discord into 
the life, thoughts that depress, that stunt, that 
darken. 

No mind can do good work when clouded 
with unhappy or vicious thoughts. The mental 
sky must be clear or there can be no enthu- 
siasm, no brightness, clearness, or efficiency in 
our mental work. 

If you would do the maximum of which you 
are capable, keep the mind filled with sunshine, 
with beauty and truth, with cheerful, uplifting 
thoughts. Bury everything that makes you un- 
happy and discordant, everything that cramps 
your freedom, that worries you, before it buries 
you. 

The mental temple was not given us for the 
storing of low, base, mean things. It was in- 
tended for the abode of the gods, for the treas- 



THE SUX-DIAL'S AlOTTO 307 

VLTing of high purposes, grand aims, noble 
aspirations. 

It is a shame, and will some time be looked 
upon as a disgrace, for a human being bearing 
the stamp of divinity to be dominated by base, 
unworthy, demoralizing thoughts. The time 
will come when one will be as much ashamed 
of harboring a disagreeable, discordant, con- 
taminating thought as he would feel if he were 
caught stealing. When a man once gets a true 
perception of himself, of his grandeur and dig- 
nity, and infinite possibilities, he will not allow 
himself to be dominated by the mental enemies 
which now dog him from the cradle to the 
grave. 

Man was not made to express discord, but 
harmony ; to express beauty, truth, love, and 
happiness ; wholeness, not halfness ; complete- 
ness, not incompleteness. 

No one has learned the art of true living 
until he has trained his mind to forget every 
experience from which he can no longer derive 
any advantage — that will hinder his progress 
and make him unhappy. Xo matter how great 
a mistake you have made, it should be for- 
gotten, buried forever. Don't keep digging it 
up. You have learned the lesson there is in it 
for you. The only good use you can make of 



3o8 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

an unfortunate mistake is to make it a start- 
ing-point for something better. 

What is there to be gained by harboring in- 
juries, by dwelhng upon misfortunes, by mor- 
bid worrying over our faikires? Did it ever 
pay to harbor shghts and imagined insults ? 

There is only one thing to do with a dis- 
agreeable thought or experience, and that is, 
get rid of it ; hurl it out of your mind as you 
would a thief out of your house. You cannot 
afford to give shelter to enemies of your peace 
and comfort. 

If you have hard feelings, unkindly thoughts 
toward others, if you are trying to " get 
square " with some one who has injured you, 
or if you are suffering from jealousy, envy, or 
hatred, dispel these killing emotions, these dis- 
cordant feelings, as vicious enemies. Say to 
yourself : " This is not manly, this is not 
friendly, this is not humane; these are the 
thoughts for the base, degraded ; they are not 
the sort of thoughts for one who is trying to 
stand for something in the world." 

So long as you harbor the hatred thought, 
the jealous thought, the revenge, worry, anx- 
iety, or fear thought, you must suffer — just as 
a pedestrian with gravel in his shoes must 
suffer until he removes it. 



THE SUN-DIAL'S MOTTO 309 

We cannot harbor any grudge, any hatred 
against another without suffering a frightful 
loss in our own nature. It coarsens, ani- 
maHzes, brutalizes us. On the other hand, the 
holding of the kindly feeling, the love thought, 
the helpful, charitable, magnanimous thought, 
ennobles the life, beautifies the character, en- 
riches the nature. Our mental attitude gives 
its color to the life. What it is, we are like 
toward others. If that is hateful, we are hate- 
ful ; if that is revengeful, we have a revenge- 
ful disposition. We are like our ideals. I have 
never known a really good person who had 
a mean, contemptible estimate of other people, 
or who was always criticising them, question- 
ing their motives, imputing to them low, self- 
ish motives. 

Do not go about nursing some fancied 
wrong or insult or grudge against somebody, 
cherishing unkind feelings toward any one. 
Such thoughts poison the brain. They sting 
and corrupt. Bitterness in the heart is like a 
leaven, which works its way through the entire 
system. The constant dwelling upon bitter 
things saps your vitality and lessens your abil- 
ity to do something worth while. These are 
enemies of your youthfulness, of your happi- 
ness and success. You cannot afford to have 



3IO PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

them festering in your heart and tormenting 
your mind. 

Do not remember anything disagreeable 
which can cripple your efficiency or mar your 
work. Just wipe it out of your memory, no 
matter how much it may hurt your pride to 
do so. Your great aim should be progress, and 
you cannot afiford to have a lot of rubbish 
clinging to you which keeps you back or hin- 
ders your speed in your life race. You need 
all your energv*, every ounce of power you 
possess, for the race. Husband your strength 
for the main issue. Alake every ounce of force 
tell. 

Make up your mind to be large, gener- 
ous, and charitable, to forget slights or in- 
juries, not to harbor malice, but to remember 
that most people are kind at heart and would 
not intentionally slight or injure you. Show 
your charitable side to every one. Be cheerful, 
kind, and helpful, no matter what others may 
do to you or say about you. Learn always to 
put a charitable interpretation upon people's 
motives and you will be surprised at the effect 
of your attitude, not only upon yourself, but 
also upon those with whom you are associated. 
The kindly, helpful, sympathetic thought held 
toward your enemies will work like a leaven in 



THE SUN-DIAL'S MOTTO 311 

their characters and change them for the better 
a thousand times quicker than seeking revenge 
or trying to get even with them. 

The man who radiates good cheer to every- 
body, who says kind things about people, who 
sees in his fellow-man the man God made, 
the immortal, perfect man — not the sin- 
racked, the vice-scarred man — is the one we 
love and admire. 

Why should we remember the unkind things 
people say of us? If we practised the art of 
forgetting these things we should learn to love 
where we once hated, to admire where w^e de- 
spised, to help where we hindered, to praise 
where we criticised. 

The good excludes the bad ; the higher al- 
ways shuts out the lower ; the greater motive, 
the grander affection excludes the lesser, the 
lower. The good is more than a match for 
the bad. 

A wpman who has had great sorrows and 
afflictions says : *' I made the resolution that I 
would never sadden any one with my troubles. 
I have laughed and told jokes when I could 
have wept. I have smiled in the face of every 
misfortune. I have tried to let every one go 
away from my presence with a happy word and 
bright thought to carry with them. Happiness ' 



312 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

makes happiness, and I myself am happier 
than I would have been had I sat down and 
bemoaned my fate." 

When you were in the dumps, " blue " and 
discouraged, worried and almost ready to give 
up the struggle for the thing you were trying 
to reach, did you never meet some sunny, 
jovial, humorous character, through whose in- 
fluence it seemed that the whole world was 
changed in a few minutes — the whole atmos- 
phere cleared of bogies and haunting skeletons 
— and you caught the contagion of the humor 
and good cheer, and were another person? 
This was due only to your change of thou ght. 
the new suggestions held in your mind. It was 
only a question of the expulsive power of a 
stronger motive, affection, or idea. If we only 
knew the philosophy of this expulsive power 
of a stronger, higher motive to drive out the 
weaker or the lower, we could quickly clear 
the mental atmosphere of all the clouds of 
doubt and despair, of all worry and anxiety 
and uncertainty by substituting their opposites. 

If we did not harbor in the mind the things 
that are not good for us, they would not make 
such a lasting impression upon us. In fact, 
they would not get hold of us. It is the har- 
boring of them, turning them over and over, 



THE SUX-DIAL'S MOTTO 313 

thinking of them, that intrenches them in the 
mind. 

The way to get rid of error is to keep the 
mind full of truth ; the way to get rid of dis- 
cord is to keep saturated with harmony, the 
love thought. 

Harmony is the realit}', the entity, the crea- 
tive force. The time will come when the child 
will be taught from the outset how to protect 
himself from insidious enemies of mind and 
body, how to keep himself in harmony by al- 
ways living in the light of hope and truth, 
where ghosts and hideous shadows cannot live. 
He will be trained in the knowledge that truth 
and beauty, joy and gladness, harmony, good- 
will thoughts, health thoughts, will kill their 
opposites ; that they have the same effect upon 
them that water has upon fire. 



XVIII. "AS YE SOW 



XVIII. "AS YE SOW" 

Thought is another name for fate, 
Choose, then, thy destiny, and wait — 
For love brings love, and hate brings hate. 

— Ella Wheeler Wilcox. 



"Beautiful thoughts crystallize into habits of grace 
and kindness, which solidify into genial and sunny 
circumstances." 




S it not a strange fact that 
while men know with abso- 
lute ceiiainty that what they 
sow or plant in the soil will 
come back to them in exact 
kind, that it is absolutely im- 
possible to sow corn and get 
a crop of wheat, they entirely disregard this 
law when it comes to mental sowing? 

On what principle can we expect a crop of 
happiness and contentment when for years we 
have been sowing seed thoughts of exactly the 
opposite character ? How can we expect a crop 
of health when we are all the time sowing dis- 
ease thought seeds? 

We would think a farmer insane who should 
sow thistle seeds all over his farm and expect 
to reap wheat. But we sow fear thoughts, 
worry thoughts, anxious thoughts, doubt 

317 



3i8 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

thoughts, and wonder that we are not in per- 
petual harmony. 

The harvest from our thoughts is just as 
much the result of law as that of the farmer's 
sowing. Seed corn can only produce corn. A 
man's achievement is the harvest, big or little, 
beautiful or blighted, abundant or scarce, ac- 
cording to the character of the thoughts he 
has sown. 

A man who sows failure thoughts can no 
more reap a success harvest than the farmer 
can get a wheat crop from thistles. If he sows 
optimistic seed, the harmony, health, purity, 
truth thoughts, the thoughts of abundance 
and prosperity, of confidence and assurance, 
he will reap a corresponding harvest; but if 
he sows discord he will reap discordant con- 
ditions. 

Harmony is power; discord is weakness. 
Pessimistic thoughts are thistles which check 
the good products and ruin the harvest. 

How simple our great life problems would 
become if we could only realize that the mental 
laws are just as scientific as the physical laws ! 
Every thought generated in the brain is a seed 
which must produce its harvest — thistle or 
rose, weed or wheat. 

Our careers are the harvests of our mental 



"AS YE SOW" 319 

sowing. If we sow the wind we shall reap the 
whirlwind. 

If we sow the thoughts of abundance, of 
plenty, we shall reap accordingly; but if we 
sow the mean, pinched, sting}- failure thought 
we shall reap a poverty harvest. In other 
words, the life harvest must follow the thought. 
When we see a selfish, repulsive face, we know 
that it is the harvest of selfish, vicious sowing. 
On the other hand, when we see a calm inspir- 
ing face, we know that it has come from the 
sowing of harmonious, helpful thought seeds. 

If there is any one law of the universe em- 
phasized over and above all others, it is that 
like produces like everywhere and always. 

A person who should take a knife and begin 
to slash his flesh until the blood flowed would 
be shut up in an insane asylum ; but we are all 
the time slashing our mental selves with the 
edged thought-tools — hatred, revenge, anger, 
jealousy — and yet we think ourselves sane, 
normal. 

Every thought is a seed which produces a 
mental plant exactly like itself. If there is 
venom in the seed thoui^ht-platit there zvill be 
venom in the fruit which will poison the life, 
which will destroy happiness and efficiency. 

If you sell yourself to your desires, you 



320 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

must expect the harvest to correspond. A man 
who sells himself to a selfish life, a life of get- 
ting and never giving, must not complain if 
there are thistles and thorns in his harvest. 
Life is just to us. It gives us what we pay for. 
The truth is, many of us ask for things with- 
out being willing to pay the price, and, of 
course, we receive only as we pay, for Nature 
keeps a cash store. She gives us everything we 
pay for ; we take away nothing without leaving 
the price. 

The coming man will know that if he wants 
to produce a crop of prosperity he must not 
sow failure or poverty seeds, seeds of dis- 
couragement or doubt. He will sow the seed 
that will produce the crop he wants. If he 
wants to produce a character-crop of beauty, 
sweetness, and loveliness, he will sow the seeds 
of kijidness, love, and helpfulness ; and he will 
know that if he sows seeds of hatred, jeal- 
ousy, bitterness, and revenge he will get the 
same kind of a crop — hideous, noxious weeds. 

The coming man will live scientifically. He 
will know that there is only one way to pro- 
duce physical harmony, vigor, strength ; that 
is, by sowing thought-seeds which are akin to 
the health crop he seeks. He will be just as 
certain of the character of his thought-crop as 



"AS YE SOW" 321 

the farmer is certain that his harvest will cor- 
respond with his seed. 

The body is simply a reflection of the mind ; 
it cannot be an}'thing else. It would be impos- 
sible for a person to hold only beautiful, lov- 
ing thoughts in the mind and not have the 
body correspond and come into harmony with 
the habitual thinking. It is only a question of 
time. There is no guess-work about the proc- 
esses. There is an absolutely inexorable law: 
Like must produce like. 

It is impossible for a thief to injure the per- 
son he steals from half so much as he injures 
himself. He inconveniences his victim, but 
stabs himself with a venomous weapon. We 
are so constituted that it is impossible to injure 
another willingly without injury to ourselves. 
If we would be good to ourselves we must 
be good to others also. We cannot possibly 
strike our neighbor without receiving the 
blow ourselves. This is the new philosophy 
which Christ taught. Before his day it was 
" An eye for an eye," an unkindness for an 
unkindness, a thrust for a thrust, a blow for 
a blow ; but he taught that we must not strike 
back. " Ye have heard that it hath been said. 
An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth : 
but I say unto you, That ye resist not evil : but 



3^2 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY 

whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, 
turn to him the other also." 

" Ye have heard that it hath been said. Thou 
shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. 
But I say unto you. Love your enemies, bless 
them that curse you, do good to them that hate 
you, and pray for them which despitefully use 
you and persecute you." This is as scientific 
as the laws of chemistry or mathematics. 

The coming man will find that indulgence in 
retaliation for real or fancied injury, indul- 
gence in hatred or revenge, will only rob him 
of power and mar his own achievement. 

The infant puts his hand in the flame or 
on the hot stove until the pain teaches him 
better. After we have tortured ourselves with 
thoughts which tear and lacerate us, after we 
have had experience enough of this kind, we 
shall learn that it is too expensive a business, 
that we cannot afford to pay such a price for 
the sake of '' getting square " with another. 
Self-protection will keep us from it when we 
know enough. 

We may complain of our condition to-day, 
but we are simply reaping what we sowed yes- 
terday. There is no dodging this reaping. The 
only way to get a different harvest to-morrow 
is to sow differently to-day. Everything we do, 



"AS YE SOW" 323 

every thought that passes through our mind, 
is a seed which we throw out into the soil, the 
world, and which must give a harvest like 
itself. Many people complain because their 
harvest is so full of thorns, thistles, and weeds ; 
but if they analyzed their lives they would find 
that they had been sowing seeds of selfishness, 
jealousy, and envy. If they had sown seeds of 
unselfishness, kindness, happiness, and love, 
they would have had a very different kind of 
harvest. 

The time will come when an intelligent per- 
son will no more think of indulging a cruel, 
envious, jealous thought toward another than 
he would put his hand into the flames. 

The future man will not lacerate himself 
with vicious thoughts. He will not stab him- 
self with jealousy or hatred thoughts, with 
fear or sick thoughts, because, like the child 
who will not put his hand in the fire after 
he has learned that it burns, he will want to 
avoid the pain they cause. 

THE END 



7 9 22 



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